Being okay with reality is perhaps the most important skill we could learn.
Just like we develop any new skill - how to play the piano, how to drive stick shift, how to be good at our job - we can learn how to be okay with reality, and dance with it rather than fight with it.
Only this skill will make us a heck of a lot happier than any other skill.
Why? Because reality is, well, reality, whether we like it or not. As individuals we have but a fraction of control over what happens around us. That is, 99.99% of events happen outside our control, so it makes no sense to wish, hope, and resist what's actually happening.
But most of us do that.
We have a resistance to how things are, because we hold preferences on how things should be. Unfortunately, the way I want something to be is going to be different than the way you, or someone else wants things to be.
At least one of us is going to have a problem here.
When we don't want to experience the very thing we're experiencing in the present moment, we push it away with will. We suppress it. The problem is, it stays in there. The energy remains, rotting down inside of us until we let it go.
That's why it's much better to not resist things as they happen, but instead accept them. That does not mean we don't do anything about them. It has nothing to do with being passive and letting life walk all over us. It just means not resisting what is, and then pouring all your energy into what needs to be done, not into the disturbances we cause inside ourselves because things didn't go our way.
Your way doesn't exist. My way doesn't exist. The only way is the way of life.
Are you going to respect that? Or fight with it?
So the question becomes, how do we be okay with reality? I'm certainly not an expert here, but I will share what I've learned because it's helped me.
Little by little we can learn to let go. We let go of the little things first - the rain when we want it to be nice out, the slow driver when we're in a rush - all those minor disturbances we all deal with every single day.
As these little things happen to you throughout the day - and surely they will - first just notice how you react. Notice what your mind does. Notice how your heart starts racing, or you chest feels tight. Try to let that feeling pass through you. The event already happened - it's over. Acknowledge how your body and mind reacted, relax, and let it go.
It's very simple, but of course quite challenging because most of us aren't used to doing this. Instead, we hold on to that anger and let it fester.
But when we let go of the little things, a time will come when something bigger and scarier inevitably arises. When we're better at relaxing and letting go, we will be more equipped to handle the bigger thing. At some point the tipping balance will be reached, and we'll have waves of joy pouring through our being. This is our natural state, who we really are.
Imagine what you're capable of doing in this state.
So the next time something gets in your way - you have a choice - let go and continue feeling joy in the natural flow of life, or cling to the event and go back to an unhappy state.
This is the power of free will. Let's use it to let go.
Live with substance!