I've come to learn that there are often two paths of action we can take in any given moment.
The first path is to act based on our reaction to an outside event.
Someone says something we don't like, and so we get angry and tell them off. Shortly after, we receive a compliment from a stranger, and suddenly we feel the need to chase after them for more admiration.
In either case, we acted based on our inner reaction to the outside world. Instead of letting the event happen and then moving on, we got involved in its energy.
This is rarely the most productive action we can take.
The second path involves a more subtle force that guides our actions.
That force is what I would call the greater flow of life.
It's not based on our personal reaction, but rather an unbiased involvement with whatever life is calling for at the moment.
Let's say you get in a fight with your significant other. Naturally, this is an emotionally charged situation in which you're both tense and defensive. In this scenario, acting based on your reaction will look something like, "How dare you! You always do this! You never listen to me!"
In other words, it'll be about proving why you're right and they're wrong. But this is because you're in pain. And so are they. You're both hurting, and so you're expressing the hurt through nasty language directed at the other person.
Seeing as you're both in pain, there is a higher path of action, and one that harmonizes with the greater flow of life.
That path would be one of compassion, one of recognizing the other's pain without having to direct more pain their way.
It might look something like a warm hug, a sincere apology, a calm presence. That's it. Nothing more.
Because that's typically what the situation calls for when another person is in pain.
Just like you'd bring medical attention to a child bleeding in a playground, in this case you attend to a hurting partner with your presence.
But you see, this is hard for us. It's hard to respect the greater flow of life when the forces of our reactions are so commanding of our attention.
As human beings we're so wired to react to just about everything that happens in our immediate surroundings. Furthermore, our reactions to what happens are heavily influenced by our previous reactions to things that happened in the past.
It's not long before we're so far removed from reality that we're living through the experiences, judgements, and preconceptions of our individual past. This is what it means to be out of touch with reality.
The only way out of this is to first recognize when we're doing it.
We have to notice that when something happens, we have a tendency to react a certain way. If we're not aware of this tendency, then we just react, and that's that. There's no awareness of reaction - just reaction.
Once we become aware, we must remember that there's a higher way to live, which involves connecting with the greater flow of life.
True harmony with life is when we respect and participate with that greater flow without any resistance.
If you listen closely, in any moment there's a subtler voice guiding you.
Live with substance!
P.S. I'm working on something special!
In addition to publishing two new blog posts every week, I'm working on a guide to help you stop getting so bothered by everything that happens.
The less time we spend on being bothered, the more time we spend on being our true, loving, joyful selves. At the end of the day, this is what we all want.
If you're interested in getting your hands on this free guide, leave a comment below saying, "I want it!" or "I want the guide!"