In life, it’s only natural to want what we have envisioned for ourselves. For many of us, we simply want to be happy, healthy, successful and loved.
While these are all perfectly normal wants and desires, sometimes we can get so wrapped up in what we want that we begin to feel like we have to force things in order to make our visions a reality.
In many ways, we have become habituated to demanding that things be the way we want them to be and when things don’t go according to our plan, that’s usually when we start to suffer.
I love how Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul describes suffering. He says:
“Our suffering is directly related to what we have mentally decided we want and the reality of what is unfolding in the present moment. To whatever degree these two things do not match, that is the degree that we suffer.”
While this might be a lot to take in, when you truly understand the wisdom of these words, it makes sense that the wisest thing you can do in any moment is to gracefully accept and embrace life as it is.
This simple act of surrendering to what is brings our attention back to the present moment and restores our sense of inner peace and well-being. As we begin to get in touch with this part of ourselves, we will hopefully find that the overwhelming desire for control becomes less important.
Now if you’re thinking this sounds easier said than done, I get it. As a person who loves to be “in control,” I know that the idea of acceptance and surrendering can be challenging.
While there are many ways to practice acceptance, I think the best place to start is to listen to your body. As you go through your day, are you feeling tense, constricted, agitated? Is your mind telling you what you “should” or “must” be doing?
Awareness is the first step to changing any behavior and these body sensations are all clues that you might be pushing against instead of accepting what is.
When you start to notice tension in your body, offer yourself the gift of time. Slow down, take a breath and witness what really needs to get done.
Take the time to look at your daily tasks and remind yourself that your value is not directly related to your daily output. Once you realize this, the need to overload your schedule will diminish.
As we head into this holiday season, there will likely be many situations that will challenge your desire to control. The most important thing to remember is that joy exists within you whether things are going your way or not.
When you allow the simple miracle of acceptance to find you, you will experience peace in any situation.