03 June 2015

As It Is

There's an awful lot to be said for taking life, for taking the world, "as it is."  One of the greatest sources of our own dissatisfaction and stress and frustration is the fact that the world around us isn't "as we want it"; rather, the world is as it is, and the sooner we learn to accept that fact--and even celebrate it--the sooner we can get on with our lives and really make them something to be enjoyed.

When we buy a car or a house "as is," there's always a certain risk involved, isn't there?  Maybe the seller has had some problem with the engine, and he knows that major work will be necessary in a few months or a year.  Perhaps the seller knows that the water heater of the house has been functioning erratically, or that the furnace is on its last legs, and is hoping to unload the house without having to pay for that sort of repairs.

Life isn't a car or a house.  Life comes to us each moment, on a moment-by-moment basis, and asks us to take it as it is.  It asks us gently--it's only a demand if we receive the request as a demand.  Our lives unfold regularly, always carrying us along with them, yet we somehow never are taught to deal with life regularly, never taught how to live life moment by moment.  Just as with buying a home or a car, though, there are risks inherent in life, and life also asks us to make decisions that could turn out badly for us.  Should we give our heart to that person who may harm it?  Should we move on to a new place or a new career in order to be more fulfilled?  Should we trust ourselves with our decisions and our plans?  Each moment comes filled to the brim with life--should we throw ourselves whole-heartedly at this moment, or should we hold back in order to keep ourselves from being harmed?

One of the biggest obstacles that we have to overcome in taking life as it is, is the fact that we tend not to trust life completely.  However we choose to see life, God, or the Universe, we tend to see ourselves as being very small and insignificant in the vastness of reality--why would things turn out well for me when I'm so tiny that God or life doesn't really care what happens to me?  That's an obstacle, though, that we've allowed to thrive within ourselves and that takes great effort to tear down.

The fact is that life can be trusted.  Millions of people have made their ways through life and have thrived doing so, and they've left behind teachings that can help us do the same thing.  Most of them have made it very clear that trusting life and living--or God and ourselves--is the first thing we need to accomplish in order to live full and healthy lives.  Personally, I've always had huge issues with trust, but as I've read the words of people who led happy lives, I realized that I needed to tear down my mistrust if I were to have any chance at being happy.  And I've learned that the more I trust life, the more life responds with being completely trustworthy.  I haven't become rich or famous, and I'm not able to stop working and travel the world, but I have all that I need and even more--I have shelter and food and a wonderful wife and family and friends and work that's fulfilling and hobbies that I find to be fascinating.

My discontent with life would start with a simple premise: this isn't enough.  This is life as it is, but since I don't have more now, I'm not going to be content or satisfied right here, right now.  That would be simply me being immature and silly.  After all, if I think something should be improved, I can only decide to work now to change it for the future.  It still is the way it is.  When I can accept it, I can know that this moment is perfect, for even the problems in it are there to spur me on to solving them, to challenge myself to make my future days even more positive.  Obstacles are there to teach me how to function in life, how to push myself past my previous limitations.

Do you accept life as is?  Is there something in your life that is so bad that it prevents you from accepting the beauty and wonder of each moment?  If you can remember that the negative parts of life are there to help you to learn and grow, perhaps you'll be able to see the perfection of the current moment, and you'll be able to accept life exactly as it is, right here and right now.  This present moment truly is the only moment when life actually occurs, and if it's pushing you to challenge yourself, then meet that challenge to make your future present moments even more positive, fulfilling, and full of wonder than you ever imagine they could be.

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