Stop Fighting Reality
The Only Stressful Thought
Deepak Chopra, author, inspirational speaker, physician
“This shouldn’t be happening.”
This is something we all say to ourselves at some point, on any given day, and probably several times every day. It could be the spilled drink, the traffic jam, or that just-noticed belly pooch. The inevitable emotion that is felt when we think the thought, “This shouldn’t be happening” is stress, anger, even depression.
Why do we resist what is? Why don’t we see clearly that traffic jams and someone’s political opinion are not in our control? Why do we move out of our own business and move into someone else’s? (“You shouldn’t have spilled that milk!”).
I ponder this question often these days. In my own quest for peace and happiness, I’ve come to realize that almost all of my pain and discomfort comes from just this one thought, though it sounds like many, many other reasons. And my purpose in writing this article to you, and for you, is really to answer the question for myself.
I know for me, I seem to believe I must feel intense irritation (and even self-loathing) to get truly motivated to change something. I judge myself, therefore, to get myself motivated to do the thing that will stop me from judging myself. Now, is that sane? Is that the way to self-acceptance and acceptance in general? At 46 years old, I will tell you this: it hasn’t worked yet. And I believe a much-wiser person than I, Albert Einstein, said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.”
Control Freaks Apply Here!
The word that keeps wanting to be typed here is “control.” If I can control events then I will feel happy and at peace. Is that even true? What if I got exactly what I wanted, with the snap of a finger, an affirmation repeated over and over, or a ritual performed under the full moon? What if everything in my life was exactly as I wished it right now? Would that bring me happiness? Finally?
The only honest answer I can give is: “I don’t know.” Because I don’t, and you don’t. I have received what I wished for on occasion---in fact, often---and sometimes it made me happy. And sometimes, over time, it was the worst thing that could have happened to me. This “gift” of experience and time has allowed for one thing, and that’s humility (that came courtesy of a dash of humiliation). I don’t know what’s best for me, or for you, or for right now.
I have no control at all. Even as I type this, my chair could collapse, or my boss could come in, shut the door and tell me my job has been eliminated. My son could be hurt. My identity stolen. Many, many things could be happening that would make me less happy than I am right now. And, it’s worth mentioning, many things could happen that would make my situation right this minute, better.
But apparently, I’m not doing any of it. My actions, my thoughts, my feelings…I can’t say that they are really even a function of cause and effect. The only thing that works for me is this:
There is another way of looking at this.
And this is also reality...this is ALWAYS true. And it's always in your control.
And so whenever I’m disturbed or stressed, that is what I spend my energy ‘doing’ about it. I try to not judge, or complain, or pout (or more accurately, I STOP doing those things and switch gears). Instead, I choose to see another view, any view, that will make me feel some modicum of peace.
This SHOULD be happening, because it is. How’s that for another way of looking at things? Try it. The worst that can happen is that reality stays put. And as far as I can tell, that’s its plan anyway.
And who am I to get in the way? Who are you? Are we powerful enough to change reality?
Choose to see things differently--just for today. Turn the other cheek, if you will, and see things from a different, kinder, gentler perspective. The only thing you have to lose is your stress.
Watch Stephanie's video "The Nature of Reality" for a 3-minute overview on this topic:
Have A Comment About This Topic?