Being OK with what “is” can be a powerful way of finding peace in your everyday life. It can be tricky though, and thankfully there are ways to not get stuck in a mental loop. For many of us, being OK with what “is” sounds like an impossible dream some times. In this post I would like to dive a bit deeper into this subject.
Generally my perceived reality unfolds in this way:
Something “happens”, i.e. I get faced with a situation. In a split second I feel a bodily sensation (emotion) which I, in turn, interpret with the less than conscious part of my mind (we can call this intuitive thinking) as either desirable (good) or less desirable (bad). The result of this lightning quick calculation affects my attitude, about the given situation, almost immediately.
If the situation is judged as “bad” my thinking and emotional response fuel each other, a mental loop is established and my attitude turns sour.
Maybe Shakespeare said it best when he proclaimed: “there is nothing good or bad in this world, but thinking makes it so.”
For example, my flight is delayed. This can easily upset the best of us, but if we look objectively at the situation it is neither “good” nor “bad”…it just IS. There can be a million reasons why the flight is late and it is impossible for me to grasp the whole picture of the situation. It is utterly pointless to dwell on these reasons, because the reality I am presented with is a late flight. Thinking about what caused it and what it might lead to cannot change the situation at hand. Reality is as it is…or simply, reality IS!
Since the external conditions are as they are and no amount of judgement will change them I am presented with a choice to let the situation be as it is. We can call it acceptance of our external reality. There is an all-pervasive peace and calmness in acceptance.
Sometimes however, my emotional response is so quick that I fail to catch it before it affects my attitude. At this point it can feel difficult, if not impossible, to accept the external reality as it is. I have already passed my judgement and made the situation into something undesirable.
Trying to accept the external reality while I am in this state can easily start a mental loop where I judge my own judgement. I shouldn’t be feeling bad about this. This, however, adds another layer of misery. Now I judge both the external and internal reality as bad. This loop can be very difficult to escape.
Here I am presented with another choice. If I can/will not accept the external conditions (late flight), I can accept the internal conditions (my judgement/attitude). Some situations will trigger your anger and there is no point in being angry about the anger.
When I let the reality be, I quickly follow.