You Have Permission to Let This Time-Waster Go
My mind likes to argue with reality.
It argues that I should have done it already.
Or that I should have figured it out by now.
Or that our government should be more united.
And yet, it is still not done.
I am still figuring it out.
And, our government is isn’t more united.
These types of thoughts may seem harmless at first, but when left unexamined, they cause underlying feelings of shame, distress, and pain.
Our thoughts are responsible for how we experience life.
If we want to feel more ease and contentment, it is worth learning the skills to cultivate them.
Byron Katie is a teacher who went through a major transformation and developed a mindfulness practice called The Work.
It’s a simple, powerful practice where you question the thoughts that cause suffering in your life.
Using The Work, Byron Katie discovered that “Nothing comes ahead of its time, and nothing ever happened that didn’t need to happen.”
In other words, reality is truth.
The present moment is what is, and arguing with it only leads to pain and suffering.
When we can let go of the idea that life should feel or be different, then we begin to experience inner peace.
Until we can accept what is, our contentment becomes elusive.
There is peace in knowing that we’re where we are supposed to be, right now. And the next moment is ours to create.
Personally, I feel peace and patience knowing that growth comes through learning and figuring it out.
I caught myself arguing with reality during a recent vet visit for our elder, beloved cat. Upon hearing that she had an infection, my mind went to scolding myself, insisting that I should have known sooner that she needed treatment. (She’s recovering now.) I harshly judged myself as a neglectful pet parent.
The Work allowed me to question that line of thinking. The reality is that I should not have known, because I didn’t.
Peace was available to me once I realized that I had tended to my cat’s issue as soon as I had the awareness that there was an issue to be tended to. Self-compassion helped me accept that I had done my best, given what I knew at the time.
Stress comes from setting expectations for ourselves or others that are incongruent with reality. The good news is, we can release this stress whenever we choose.
When we remember that everything is unfolding in its own time, we can accept the present moment, and know that we won’t stay here for very long.
How does it feel, knowing that you get to decide what comes next from a place of patience, peace, and compassion?