I am sure that you are anticipating my first posting of the new year to be about resolutions or perhaps about 2012 prophecies. Sorry. I like to be as genuine as I can which means writing about what I am currently experiencing instead of crafting a contrived post. So here goes. Weeks before Christmas my mother went in for routine hernia surgery. If you know my mother at all, you know that nothing is “routine” with her. What we thought would be a few days in the hospital became a roller coast couple of weeks. But it brought to mind a few important keys to living a happy life.
Shit happens. No matter how much we plan, what we expect, or what we envision, life is going to do what life is going to do. Think of driving home from work. You know your route and almost navigate it unconsciously. As you listen to Lady Gaga, you think about your dinner options. Then BAM! Your ears register a sound almost before you realize your body is being thrown again your seatbelt. You sit there stunned as your senses and your mind try to wrap around what just happened. If you have ever been in a car accident, you know how surreal an event it is. All of a sudden your usual daily experience stops, is suspended, seems trivial as you are thrown into a new hyper reality. It may be easy to see and accept this new reality when you can see the twisted metal of what use to be your car, but other situations may be more difficult to recognize or accept. Be consciously aware of the truth of what is happening in this current moment. All too often we miss out on the truth because we are perceiving our experiences based on our expectations. Take the time to stop and check in with the true reality of the situation. This way you can decide how to react to what is really going on versus going through the motions of your previously planned actions based on an anticipated scenario.
In preparing for my mother’s surgery, we discussed having enough food in the house for her return and how we would keep the dog from jumping on her swollen belly. But when instead we were dealing with the infectious disease doctor all of those initial plans and schemes were useless. It is times like this we may have trouble shifting gears. We try holding in to our original projected actions and trying to force them into the new situation. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way guys. It is necessary to first let go of the original plans, next accept the new situation, and then evaluate what needs to happen in this new scenario. And if, unfortunately, the situation has turned to a less desirable one, it may be very difficult to release the old scenario. We might find ourselves holding on for too long to a better or more desirable circumstance. But the longer we hold on, the more harm we can cause. Holding on to what we thought would be only stifles us, keeps us from fixing the current situation, and often times causes problems because we are taking the wrong actions. Imagine still trying to drive your car home after and accident where your front end is caved in, the car door is in the driver’s seat, and it is missing a tire. I don’t think you would make it very far. The game has changed; we need to change with it.
Focusing on the Truth of the Moment
When things shifted for my mother, it was easy for us to take five steps into the future and play the What If game. What if the infection doesn’t go away? What if the body rejects the mesh? What if, what if, what if?? Playing the What If game can be helpful when trying to uncover one’s life purpose. What if I didn’t have to worry about money? What would I do? But when we try to be carnival fortune tellers about the future and live in the what if’s of negativity, it can be harmful. Do your best to stay focused on the here and now. Focus on the truth of the circumstances. Focus on what is happening now and deal with that situation. Focusing on the future we can’t know keeps us from handling the now we can address.
Here is hoping that 2012 is marvelous and wonderful for all of you! But as it takes shape, morphs, shifts, and progresses, do your best to accept the unexpected, shift gears to address new situations, and stay focused on the now you can fix not the possible future what if’s which may never arise.
Happiness, good health and much success to you in the new year!!