And what happens when (and if) we do finally get caught up? Are we free, happy? How long?
When will things ever be finished, and will they stay that way?
Or do more things just get added to our “to do” list?
Whose agenda are we following? And why?
We might very well want to satisfy the requests and demands of our family members and employers, but not at our own expense.
When we examine our deeper motives for striving to catch up and stay on top of the curve do we find an inner slave driver pushing us?
Who is in charge? Where is our dominion?
I find myself trying to get caught up with my reading, emails, exercise program, returning phone calls, finishing a blog, preparing for a class, doing errands and housework.
What’s on your list?
I sometimes feel as if a big stick were aimed at my back and I must keep scrambling forward to avoid being hit.
Trying to get caught up is a never ending cycle of frustration.
Rather than blindly following this false god a more important question might be to ask, “What is the next right thing to do?”
What could be done by me that will bring a real sense of satisfaction?
Not what is expected by others, but what is authentically mine to do at this moment?
It may take us a different direction. No, it probably will. Both emotionally and psychologically.
We are on this earth to be helpful and find joy in our activities.
What truly makes us happy over time? What really brings that warm sense of joy and satisfaction and enjoyment of life just as it is?
One of the Buddha’s great discoveries was the importance of living and working with a sense of relaxation. If we are tensed up we miss the joy of life.
He learned to surrender his idea of what the outcome might be as he did the next right thing.
What happened would happen. But it was in the surrender of that ego that thinks it can and must manage things—fearing chaos—that brought enlightenment.
In a sense the Buddha said, “Bring it on. I’m through struggling. I’m through trying to achieve something.” And at that moment suffering and frustration ceased.
The Buddha completely trusted universal energies to accomplish what needed to happen.
Jesus also did a similar thing in the Garden of Gethsemane.
We can follow this path by paying attention when the wanting and not wanting mind show up, just watch these unconscious patterns of trying to make something happen—without following them.
Ah yes, this is the difficult part. Noticing the motivation of any act, and deciding not to go along with old conditioned patterns, such as rushing to get things done, but wait in the silence for the guiding intuition of what needs to take place next. This will come from a deep place of wanting to serve the greater good.
Are we tired of suffering?
As long as we still think our ego can manage things, we will experience frustration, as each solution will present another problem.
It’s an endless wheel of struggle.
But we can walk a new path.
I find that when I take time to feel what is going on within me and truly notice whether there is a sense of tightness or stress that I need to stop, not do more.
Rushing, hurrying, striving to catch up tells me I have gotten off the path of happiness and joy.
Doing more won’t get me back on.
I’ve become a human doing, rather than a human being.
I see that I’m climbing a ladder that is attached to the wrong building. It won’t help to get farther up the ladder, for it doesn’t lead to a life of purpose and meaning.
So, what is my purpose?
Mine is to do my best to trust the divine energy that continually creates heaven and earth, and let it work. This energy makes no demands that I catch up.
It only asks that I follow my bliss by remembering that “our bliss is found at the core of our suffering,” as Joseph Campbell tells us.
I note feelings of frustration, worry and overwhelm. It is my work to investigate the underlying beliefs and actions causing these sensations and feelings. Explore them. Stop trying to figure things out.
Do the next right thing. Breathe. Relax.
I find it helpful to use statements of equanimity that the Buddha taught:
This is the way it is for me, for now.
May my heart and mind open to this experience with balance and ease.
May my heart be at ease with the outer/inner changing conditions of life.
Bottom line is can I/will I accept life as it truly is right now?
Only through acceptance does real change come about.
That which we seek is already here. And perhaps the most elusive truth of all is that there is no fixed sense of a stand-alone “self” or ego that must catch up with anything.
As we remember our interconnectedness, everything gets done that needs to. We are not alone and we do nothing alone. Relax!
Everything we need is already here. Within. It’s below our old conditioning.
It may be hidden, but by letting go, breathing out and giving thanks for what is, we may be amazed at what shows up.
Just do the next right thing.