Sunday, July 27, 2008

Accepting "What Is"

It's been several weeks since my last blog, mostly because I've been extremely busy with projects around the house as well as summer activities with the kids. I've also been spending a lot of time reading other blogs and news, but I haven't felt much motivation to write anything myself. I guess I could feel bad about it, but I'm at a point in my life where I don't really feel too bad about anything. I think too many of us feel bad about ourselves because our culture teaches us that we need to measure up to some artificial standard, and when we don't measure up we're supposed to feel guilt or shame. It tells us the way things "should" be. Well I hate the word "should" when it's used to tell me what I'm supposed to do. Obviously in some contexts there is a societal consensus as to what constitutes appropriate behavior. On the other hand, there are many situations in life where "should" clearly does not apply. Lately, I've been able to relieve a lot of stress and anxiety through meditation and by focusing on "what is," rather than "what should be." It's very difficult to do because our culture tells us otherwise. But I am making progress and am feeling some relief from the pressures of life. I am finding that when I feel fear, anxiety, or pain (not the "ouch I hit my thumb with a hammer" kind of pain) it's usually because there is some dissonance in my mind between what is, and what I think should be. I am also coming to the realization that we have far less control over our circumstances than we think. Yes, the rugged individualist in me would claim otherwise, but there are actually very few things in life we can control. I think it has something to do with that pesky principle called free agency.

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