Today’s Mind-Tickler is brought to you by the words “Better” and
The other day a lovely 84 year old woman told me, "I'll never accept what my body looks like now. Never!"
In your own life perhaps there are also situations and feelings that..
Are. Not. Acceptable.
Which is fine.
Not much fun though, is it?
Whether it's unwillingness to accept what you look like, or loss of love, or a child's disrespect, or how little money is in the bank...
there are so many situations that seem like they could and should get better, if only you could figure out how to make that happen.
The thing is, HOW LONG do you want to keep trying?
So many things to fix and improve. You, others, money, feelings, personal behaviors and qualities.
How long does it make sense to keep at it; to keep chasing that something better?
HOW LONG is a reasonable amount of time to figure out how to get more money or more friends, a different body, more love, less addiction?
HOW LONG is the right amount of time to work on finally being a less deficient, less reactive, less depressed or anxious, younger, prettier, more successful, improved you?
Years? Decades? A Lifetime?
Whadaya say, let's just keep doing “Inquiry” for another 20 or 30 years.
Well, maybe keep at it until you and the world get just right.
When will it be enough, this fixing others or self or reactions to things; this trying to find “Truth” so that we’re not “stressed”?
Maybe you've noticed it's a lifetime of dissatisfaction with what’s here; a lifetime of hope, determination, insistence to get what isn’t here.
So. Does it bring peace?
Sure, that’s what This-Isn't-Good-Enough brings... "Peace."
Yeah, that’s it.
But, what about enlightenment?
Surely there's no question that once attained, enlightenment will be better than this life you have now.
Surely seeking it is worth decades of dissatisfaction with what you’ve actually got.
Never mind that despite years of study, listening to teachers preach on YouTube, books read, endless meditation, quotes reposted…. it never seems to arrive.
Never mind that hunting enlightenment through Now-Is-Not-What-I-Want is simply illogical and impossible.
No. Instead, focus on the unhappiness that happens when others seem to have something you don’t.
Yeah, let’s focus on that.
Or maybe you had an awakening for a while. Whoo hoo! It arrived, Yay! And then, Dang! It went away, Boo. (a story clung to by an astonishing number of people).
So how much lifetime seems reasonable to invest in desperate yearning and seeking to get it back?
What do you think- one year, five years, twenty?
And even though it may seem like trying to get enlightenment to arrive or return must surely be a worthy quest …
Is striving to get enlightenment a more valuable pursuit than, say, striving to get money or love or anything else?
I mean, striving is striving, isn’t it?
No matter what is being sought.
As long as chasing is happening, as long as dissatisfaction with what’s present, is happening, it's all the same isn't it?
So… does it make sense to devote one’s life to striving for better …anything?
And then here we are again, back to…”HOW LONG?”
When does what’s here now become finally good enough?
When does an intense feeling, or that lack, or this craving, become enough, as it is?
When do we stop trying to beat ourselves or others or situations into change, into improvement?
Whether we like a situation or feeling or thought or not, do we never get to finally just say, “Ok, this seems to be it, might as well just say yes to it?”
Or must we fight tooth and nail and resist and insist and yearn and crave and cry with frustration…
So. Lack of money? Well, ok. Cheating spouse? Sigh. Ok. Still addicted? Yeah, this seems to be the way for now. Pain? Yeah it's tough. And Ok.
Yes I realize this is alien to even consider. We're not used to it.
In fact, you might very well be saying "But No! I will not accept this situation! NO!", right now.
You might very well be still fighting and sputtering even just reading those words 4 lines above.
Like my 84 year old friend, fighting fighting fighting her aging body's looks.
Because though it's spiritually incorrect to admit,...
The truth is we don’t like What-Is.
And it's also the truth that it doesn't matter one bit whether we like it or not.
So if instead, it was somehow magically possible to accept what’s here- you, others, situations- as it is, and not try to better it…
Well then... what?
Can you see how completely different that would be?
How differently What-Is-Already-Here would be experienced, without the constant rejection of it; without the constant trying to improve things?
Can you see it?
I’m not saying you should to try fix or change the fixing or changing.
That would be more improvement going on, just applied to a new subject.
That's just more of the same.
I’m just saying maybe it’s possible to simply notice, over and over, all the ways we strive for improving, bettering and fixing.
And then you might be able to discover and focus on what’s actually here, instead of what’s not.
Because who knows what might happen with that dramatic focus shift.
Could be nothing.
Could be everything.
Might be fun to find out.
For a change.