If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never be lost. If you don’t know what’s supposed to happen, you’ll never be disappointed. If you don’t know how you’re supposed to be, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by who you are.
We spend so much of our life in our thoughts. We walk into a situation with an idea of how it’s ‘supposed to be’; then we compare how it is with this idea we have. Of course these two never match up, because one is an idea, a product of my mind, and one is a living, breathing ever-changing reality. With this approach to life, living in my thoughts, I pretty much guarantee that I always will be disappointed. Never will anything fully match up to my idea. And by paying attention to my ideas, rather than to the world itself, I end up missing out on what’s actually here.
Almost always we are in our thoughts about where we are and what’s happening, rather than actually where we are and with what’s happening. We are in our thoughts about our relationship, rather than in the relationship. We are in our thoughts about our self, rather than with our self. In our thoughts about God, rather than with God. In a word, what most of us are relating to most of the time is our thinking.
There is another way to be.
Present moment awareness, mindfulness, acceptance of what is. These all are descriptors of this other way. This other way means letting go of our thinking, letting go of our ideas, letting go of this way of being that keeps us always at one remove from life. Acceptance of what is does not mean aligning my thoughts with what is. It means stepping out of what my thinking tells me it is supposed to be. The truth is that I have no idea who you are supposed to be, or who I am supposed to be, or how it–anything–is supposed to be. Everything and everyone is new with each moment. It’s all an adventure. I can’t possibly know what’s coming next, and really, I don’t know even what I want to come next. If I think I do, I’m just making it up.
By being mindful, by choosing present moment awareness, our life can become a process of discovery, a continual moment-to-moment unfolding of a most fascinating, never before told story. We are here to live the story, to find joy in our living of the story, rather than to listen to what the mind thinks about the story. All it takes is the choice of the one over the other. In this moment… and in this moment… and in this moment…
Today I will choose to be present to my life, rather than to my thoughts about my life. I will choose to be with the people in my life, rather than my thoughts about the people in my life. I will choose to be with nature itself, rather than with my thinking. And when I find myself once again in my thinking, I will simply choose once again to be present.
Walk of Hoper, Uttar Pradesh, India
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober