What If ~ This Really Is It!

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What is going on in your life right now that you wish was different?

Pick 2 or 3 key things that you wish were different.  (Write them down)

Now with each of these items say, “This is my reality and I am completely satisfied.”

Notice what emotion(s) comes up.  ~ anger, sadness, denial, resignation, fear, defiance, sick to your stomach etc.

Our emotion(s) shows our resistance.  When we resist reality, reality wins 100% of the time.  Surely you have heard the saying, “What you resist persists!”

Imagine your resistance to reality as a big piece of flypaper that your hand is stuck to. As you put your other hand there to get some leverage to push hard so that you can escape, you say to yourself, “It shouldn’t be this way!!!”

Now both hands are stuck so you put your foot against the flypaper so that you can really push hard.  Of course you say to yourself, ” I know that it shouldn’t be this way.  This just is not right.  It is not supposed to be this way!”

Now you put your shoulder into the flypaper so that you can get your back into it etc.

Soon you are completely stuck (and twisted into an uncomfortable position to boot) despite all of your best efforts and you cannot figure out why.  But, you do know that, “It shouldn’t be this way!”

Sound familiar?

Welcome to one of life’s big paradoxes:  In order to have the freedom to move forward, to change and to grow, we first need to make peace with where we are now.  We need to become satisfied right here, right now!  We need to embrace our current reality.

Imagine having a desire to go to New York but not being willing to admit that you are in LA and instead insisting that you are in Florida.  How’s your journey going to go?  You will keep trying to head west and quickly run into the ocean – which should not be there!  So you will try again and there’s that stupid ocean – again – where it shouldn’t be – again!  (Curse and pull hair in frustration now.)

What to do???

Sit with this for a couple of days.  This is my reality and I choose to be satisfied!

First of all, you will probably discover that it isn’t as horrible as you think it is. Sure it is not an ideal situation. However, it also is not worth jumping off a bridge over either.

Would you rather have your situation or be a resident of Port-au-Prince, Haiti?  Yeah, your thing isn’t that serious after all.

What if you died with this issue still in place?  So what?  Get over yourself!

One of the biggest consequences of arguing with your reality is delayed gratification, satisfaction, fulfillment and happiness.  We don’t get to experience these states now.  Instead they are waiting for us in a future that will never come because there will always be something else that we wish was different. Stating the obvious, this is a big price to pay.

We fall into the trap of thinking that we are broken and need to be fixed.

We make the trap even worse by pretending to believe that if we just fix this one broken thing then our lives will be perfect and we will be happy.

Instead of getting to enjoy our life now, we put it on hold.  We will get to be happy in the future once we have made a few changes.

This is not a recipe for living a good life!  However, it is a recipe for becoming one of Thoreau’s, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them.”

Even more, I believe that there is a wise part of us that knows how faulty this whole way of thinking is.  In order to protect us from even greater pain, it keeps us stuck where we are now.

That greater pain is the loss of hope.  As long as we are playing this delayed satisfaction game, we can hold out hope that in the future (when we get fixed and the things we wish are different have become different) we will be happy and satisfied.

Of course when we do get there, we still won’t be happy and satisfied because we have intently practiced being unsatisfied and making our happiness conditional.  There will always be something else that needs to be fixed.

However, the pain will be worse because now we have this higher level of achievement and yet life somehow still isn’t any better.  This is where hope dies.

So it becomes easier and less risky to just stay stuck where we are so that we can hang onto hope.

The power and the resolution to this dilemma is to choose to be satisfied and happy right here, right now!

Practice this: Be satisfied right here, right now!


Jonathan Manske

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/zamb0ni/6791684571/”>zAmb0ni</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

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