SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the advice to accept that things go wrong from time to time? Can you share a personal experience of what came up for you when you accepted things as they were and focused on observing? How do you develop the strength to become an observer when things go wrong?
I am but a seed trying to find the the Light. In my world, beneath the soil, it is dark and sometimes too wet/too dry (which in either circumstance, could cause death)! As my roots spread out to seek nourishment, I run into every physical obstacle imaginable (as if I have been set up to fail). There are even living organisms living in that dark place that prey on "Light seekers" like me. However the Light above the the soil literally pulls me and insists that I "press on"! (And so I will).
To know . . . To Love . . . And to serve The Light.
Personally, I'm trying to accept the challenging situations as integral part of existence. We all have our share of experiences that bring about varying degrees of suffering. This acceptance does lessen the anxiety to avoid pain and gives energy to build resilience around the situations both personal and impersonal.
I can understand, accept and move on when my own life happens. But I have difficulty with this when I see and hear about injustices that exist in the world still today. Watching the lives of other people happen, watching them suffer...that is quite the challenge. I can work on myself to understand their lives, but do I then accept it and move on? What good comes of that? There must be more than just accepting it. My adaptation of the Serenity Prayer:
Life, grant me the mindfulness to understand and accept the things that are to be;
the courage to affect and help heal those that are unnatural;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Things often don't go how we want. Things that don't go how we want we tend to call "wrong." We'd be better off calling them life. Things go how they go. That's life. I can't control outcome. I can behave impeccably, or at least strive to, and hope for the best, knowing there are no guarantees and things often don't go as wanted. My mantra for a long time has been process, not outcome, a reminder to focus on good process of communicating and behaving and not focus on trying to make a certain outcome happen. By becoming more mindful, that is, by observing nonjudgmentally, we become more accepting and less controlling, more aligned with life rather than fighting with life. I've grown a little bit in that way. I think you develop the strength to become an observer when things go wrong by practicing being an observer always, so that the practice is in place when things don't go as you would like. What has helped me is deepening the awareness that my responsibility is to behave impeccably, not to try to control outcome. The ancient Greeks said our labor is our own, the product belongs to the gods.[Hide Full Comment]
To me, the creation of an idea of 'right' also includes naturally the birth of 'wrong' - so essentially my ability to accept life on its own terms (and not mine) has been a part of my practice. Rather than classify it is right or wrong, it just IS (and the right - wrong divide is a mental construct almost mirroring pleasure-pain / my wishes-against my wishes)
In meditation practice (and life in fact) I find it much easire to observe when things go 'wrong' - when there is pain, it naturally draws attention. It is in fact when things are smooth and flowing that one has to attend to being as mindful. So to that extent when things go wrong, it is an opportune moment for observation too....
And the beauty of this passage (and of Murphy's Law and so on) is that the nature of the world is so and yet we struggle against it life long - almost as if someone whispered in our ears when we were very young "Someday it will all be right"....
To grow up is to know that if it is right it will eventually feel wrong and vice versa....and that it is nothing but a dance of labels in the head rather than reality itself....
A surprising perspective. Although I think it goes a bit too extreme to the other side of the swing, there is a lot of truth in it. Right and wrong is our own construct, which is why 'the world is divided by the people who believe they are right." In one way, the world is perfectly fine as it runs its own course, until someone comes trying to fix it. In the other way however, life has its own course as well, and doing all these rights and wrongs is certainly part of the natural course of the universe, suffering included. I suffer, and I accept that I suffer.