I've been going through some difficult times in the past few weeks.
Difficult in the sense that the outside world seems to constantly be rubbing up against my internal preferences of how things should be, making me feel not-so-pleasant inside.
But this is exactly the kind of spiritual practice that life gives us, every single day.
Suffering doesn't arise when things are going well. It arises when things aren't going well - when shit hits the fan, when plans go awry, when people don't act how we think they should act.
And lately, a lot of this has been happening in my life.
Currently, I'm reminded now more than ever of my core message in this blog - that it's not the outside world we need to fix, but rather our inner world, and our inner relationship to the outside world.
As human beings, we screw ourselves over - in fact, we screw our entire lives over - by having all of these preferences in the first place. The deep-seated, unconscious beliefs of how people should behave, how the weather should be, what should happen over here, what shouldn't happen over there.
I'm realizing how utterly destructive and pointless it is to have these preferences, while also being reminded of just how damn difficult it is to let go of them.
On one hand, if we play in the realm of the mind, this makes perfect sense. The psyche is always trying to protect itself, and we've given it the impossible, never-ending task to figure out how the outside world needs to be in order for it to feel good.
And when life doesn't go our way - which lately has been happening to me - I'm reminded of just how utterly ridiculous and futile our approach to life really is.
While I'm nowhere close to being able to objectively witness all the turmoil and unpleasant thoughts, emotions, feelings, and external circumstances, I am able to constantly remind myself that all of that will pass, and I'm in here watching.
It doesn't make it easier, yet, but it does help me put things in perspective.
So, lately, as life has gotten overwhelming, I'm trying to remind myself that when all is said and done, I'm just here for the ride.
I'm here to experience the ups and the downs, the beauty and the misery. It's all part of the ride. So stop resisting it, stop fighting, and instead, be in awe of it.
Learn to surf the waves of life.
Live with substance!