Have you ever wondered why we need the outside world to match our personal preferences in order to feel good?
Have you ever questioned if there's a better way to live?
Currently in my life, I'm asking those questions, which I explore in this blog.
I recently wrote about the one thing we take most for granted, and I'd like to expand on that post and put it in simpler terms.
If we were to look at our view of life in two equations, it would look something like this this:
If outside world = preferences, we feel good.
If outside world ≠ preferences, we cannot feel good.
My question is, why must this be so?
Why does it matter, you ask?
It matters because the outside world is the result of 13.8 billion years of creation unfolding. What gives you and I the right to decide how things should and shouldn't be? Furthermore, what gives us even a chance to win this constant battle? We're a fraction of a fraction of a blip on the colossal radar of life.
It's just utter stupidity to think we can control what happens. We really only have control over .00001% of our immediate world, yet we focus on the whole universe and become unhappy when things don't go our way.
Most people take this for granted their whole lives, and never even question it. It might as well be as true as gravity.
Some common objections to this might be:
"Well of course it's true! How else would I be happy, if I don't get what I want?"
"Why wouldn't that be true? Of course I'm unhappy if the world is mean to me!"
"How do you expect me to feel good if things around me are not going well? Is that a joke?!"
And on and on and on.
But to prove that it's not the outside world that matters, but rather our inner relationship to the world, let's take an example as simple as the weather.
It's your big wedding day, and it's an outdoor wedding. It's been sunny for weeks, so you're not even thinking about the forecast of rain. All of the sudden, out of nowhere, it starts pouring. You become enraged. Enraged at Mother Nature.
But a few blocks over, a family is tending to their local farm. It hasn't rained in weeks. The crops are struggling. Out of nowhere, it rains. Rejoice!
In both cases the same event took place, but you and the farmers had wildly different preferences. For you and your wedding party, rain ruined the day. For the farmers, rain made their day.
But here's the interesting part. The rain didn't do that. You did that. You ruined your day.
All because of preferences.
At this point, you might be asking, well why the heck wouldn't I have preferences? What's the alternative?
Ah, that's what this entire blog is about. Our preferences for how things should and shouldn't be are killing us. They're making us absolutely miserable.
I don't know about you, but I want out. I want to be free from the shackles of my personal preferences.
Like any lifelong habit, it's going to take time and effort to break. But on the other side is freedom. Freedom from the part of us that thinks everything needs to go our way.
When it rains, let it rain. When they beep at us, let them beep. When we feel powerless amidst injustice, seek to correct any wrongdoing, but do so with intention to serve the greater good and not your ego. When there's action we need to take in the world, we take it. We step up and serve our fellow brothers and sisters. We just don't suffer inside because things aren't going our way.
Our lower, personal self disappears and our higher, more connected self steps into the world and serves humanity. That's where we ought to be. That's where I want to be. Will you join me?
Live with substance!