We looked at the givens of life, aka the conditions of existence in our last post. There is no denying that when faced with life’s inexorable givens, we can meet them with an automatic resistance unless we begin to accept reality for what it is. Richo tells us that there is another path – “As witnesses of what is, we give our attention to the changes and endings, the failed plans, the unfairnesses, the occasional disloyalty. We accept it all as part of lifes mixture. We appreciate it as somehow valuable for our growth and development. We look with affection at what is and has been. We allow events and people to be who and what they are.” We can also take it to another level, and look for the silver lining that exists in every dark cloud. How do we do this? We “cease to dispute the circumstances and simply face and deal with them,” advises Richo. Here is how this might look:
- Everything changes and ends – yet can be renewed. When we allow for renewal, growth is invited into our lives.
- Life is not always fair – yet we can choose to act with fairness and generosity. Just because life has dealt you an unfairness does not mean that you must act in kind. The neurotic ego seeks an eye for an eye. The functional ego takes the high road.
- Pain is part of life – and we can choose to risk this for the benefit of love. If we resist the inherent pain that is part and parcel of loving, we are also resisting love. As Kahlih Gibran wrote in The Prophet, “for even as love crowns you, so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth, so is he for your pruning.”
- Things do not always go according to plan – yet we can let go of the impulse to control. There is peace and equanimity that can come from allowing life to unfold in it’s own way. Life has a way of presenting us with synchronicity if we will just cooperate. As someone once said, “some doors must close before others open.” If we resist the closing of certain doors, others that may be beneficial for us will not have a chance to open.
- People are not always loving and loyal – yet we do not have to retaliate in kind. This may require very focused and intentional non-defensiveness on our part, but if we remain non-defensive, we are doing our part in avoiding battle. Byron Katie says that “defense is the first act of war” . . . meaning that even if someone else fires the first shot by acting in ways that are not loving or loyal, if we refuse to meet them defensively, there will be no war.
Until next time, peace.