It’s not “have to” but “get to.” What a difference this makes.
Norman Lear, well-known innovative TV comedy writer and producer, including “All In The Family,” was able to create fortune out of misfortune by this attitude.
Instead of judging or evaluating each event, he opened to the experience as it came, wondering what might happen and always looked for the humor and irony.
By becoming a participator in life, including the joyful, problematic, hurtful, painful, shocking or difficult events, rather than a judge, he developed hundreds of exciting, successful projects and relationships, as is evidenced by his very full, rich life.
What if we, too, saw the events of life as an adventure leading into something new, rather than judging them as either good or bad, advantageous or disadvantageous, debilitating or life-inhibiting.
What a shift in perspective this is!
Rather than indulging in unhappy emotions when something sad or distressing happens, we could see whatever is taking place as just another part of the great adventure of life.
We could meet this experience with these words: “I wonder what could happen here.” And then stay open and ask to be shown, rather than focusing on our cherished opinions as to what this “no doubt” will lead to—with an unhappy sigh.
I noticed how Norman Lear managed over and again to “take things by their smooth handle” (a wise quote from Thomas Jefferson that I’ve written about in a previous blog.) More harmony and joy comes with this attitude as it results in many more people joining and supporting his projects, without which accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible.
Finding graceful, optimistic ways to handle the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows of everyday living is surely a necessary skill, for no one is immune from these experiences.
Once in a while life seems to be a bigger adventure than I bargained for. I’ve noticed that sometimes I just want security.
But where will I find it? The world offers none, for all matter, everything that is formed, is temporary. The world and everything in it keeps slipping away. It’s all impermanent, anything but secure.
As Alan Watts wisely said, “From the moment we are born we are in free fall, and it doesn’t do any good to hang onto the things that are falling with us.”
Yet it’s risky to trust what we can’t see, sense or control. We can’t buy it, negotiate for it or steal it. Then how do we get it?
Trusting what underlies and supports all life, the Essence of Reality is vital. It’s what we can only know with our hearts, our intuitive nature.
This trust helps me to be at ease with life just as it is right now. The universe knows how to become. And I don’t. I trust the very nature of God to become just what it needs to, in every person and in every happening.
So, for me I do my best to watch and wait while remaining as calm as possible works best for me.
I like to say: Even this I get to experience!
The new possibilities may truly be amazing. And if not, at least they will lead to the next. Each happening is a stepping stone to the next.
Another helpful attitude comes from Mark Nepo in his book, Listening, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen. It is this:
“…every trouble wants to draw the very best of you into the world.”
Our lives transform when we can see that all difficulties and problems are opportunities. They hold the promise of bringing out our true gifts—the nature of God that we intrinsically are.
Chaos holds opportunity—new life, even when it seems to be draining away.
Wisdom asks us to open to each moment and nurture the seeds of gratitude, giving thanks that the now of our lives brings just what is needed. What an experience!
We never know where this new thread will take us. Let’s give thanks that we live in fertile fields of numinous energy, and that our attitudes and intentions shape future events.
Then step into whatever is happening now, embracing it as fully as possible.
Something hasn’t been born yet and is waiting for us to help birth it.
Don’t know what it will be yet, but it is sure to be an adventure.
In mindfulness, Rev. Billie