Frustration -or- Appreciation

Have you ever noticed how much you fight with life? How much you resist what’s happening? How much you need to control?

If you think you are innocent of those charges, think again, and look for the following clues: anger, irritation, frustration, blame, jealousy, resentment, resistance, even denial, to name a few.

We get upset because we want things our way, because we need things to be “just so” in order to feel good, comfortable, secure, special, and successful. Whether it is a with significant other, a situation at work, in the car on the road, or even with an inanimate object such as your cellphone, if you look deeply enough you will see that the source of your upset is the need to have things your way. This puts all the power “out there,” which then leads to the need to control life, and when we are upset with and trying to control life, we are fighting with it.

If there is anything this past year has taught us, it is that we have no control over the flow of life.

Does this mean you just lie down and take it? No. As Krishnamurti says, “Does this mean you can no longer take action to bring about change in your life? On the contrary. When the basis for your actions is inner alignment with the present moment, your actions become empowered by the intelligence of Life itself.”

Now that’s powerful. And, I believe, that’s the lesson.

Think of the flow of all life as a river, and your own life is about paddling that river. When canoeing down a river, you don’t resist, you flow. And yet, when not fighting the flow, which is acceptance, you can actually get somewhere. You become stronger with every stroke of the paddle, more enlightened as you explore the twists and turns, more humble as you view the amazing landscapes around every corner, more self-certain as you navigate through rough waters, and more serene as you enjoy the calm ones. In developing these qualities, appreciation naturally arises.

Wanting the river to be different than it is won’t make it so. Trying to force the river be what you want won’t make you happy. You cannot think your way to acceptance and ultimately appreciation. You must become a strong, enlightened, and self-certain being in order navigate life successfully, powerfully.

May you flow with the river of life this coming year. May you accept where it takes you and appreciate the journey: the difficulties, the joys, the growth. And may it take you to many awesome and wonderful places.

Happy new year.