A few weeks ago, I had a brief but dramatic bout of whining about something. I had been trying not to be needy and failed completely. This prompted me to try once again to make a change in how I experience the world. In my explorations of religion and philosophy, I've run across the idea of living in the moment many times. It generally sounds like a good idea, but it's tough to put into practice in everyday life. After the grand whine, I started paying attention to how often I was wishing that things in my life were different. Big things and little things, all the time I was wishing for other things. Once I realized how pervasive this discontent was, I started trying to change that into something that is both more positive and more realistic. Whenever I wish for something to be different, I am ignoring the reality of my situation as well as putting more energy toward negative feelings.
I've been trying to work on this for a couple of weeks. I've stopped saying “I wish” and started using those moments to stop and observe where I really am at that moment. This still requires nearly constant vigilance, but I'm beginning to see a slight shift. I am starting to look a little harder for a silver lining in situations that are not much fun. Starting to appreciate what I do have, instead of wishing for something that I can't have.
The phrase “Bloom where you're planted” used to seem like giving up, a way of being cheerful about settling for a less than wonderful situation. Now, it seems more like a way of enjoying life without requiring stagnation or resignation. Those “I wish” moments still happen, and they certainly help me identify what areas of my life need some work. Knowing that I can take tiny steps to increase the chances of change, I'm free to enjoy the good parts of the things that are happening around me. And if I am unable to get happy about the moment, it gives me a chance to reframe my thoughts and imagine how I would feel if my wishes were reality. Either way, I wind up with a more positive outlook. Win!
|Sources say this probably isn't actually Cherokee, but it's still pretty cool.|