Yesterday, a client of mine took me to lunch at a decent restaurant and when my food came, I caught myself criticizing it before I had even eaten a bite. The onions where supposed to be caramelized and since I cook, I know that caramelization takes time and patience. These onions had not been cooked enough to achieve that status. Once I recognized what I was up to, I thought about how frequently I do that sort of thing. I check in with myself to see how much or how little it pleases me. Instead of enjoying what is in front of me to enjoy, I consult some inner critic to see if it meets my standards. Until I remembered that the Universe is conspiring in my favor. Everything is happening for me.
The sandwich was delicious, but I had to shelf my ideas of what it “should be” to enjoy it.
I am still reading The Untethered Soul, and of course, doing my daily Course work (along with Emma Curtis Hopkins), and it is shocking to me how frequently I resist what is. Singer says, “Think of how much energy is wasted resisting what has already happened.”
Or as Byron Katie says, “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”
As I looked at my lunch and made a conscious decision to just go with it, I thought about how frequently I resist what comes my way. It probably didn’t hurt that yesterday’s Course lesson was I do not perceive my own best interests. Today’s lesson, of course, is one I repeat with alarming frequency, I do not know what anything is for. It says, “It is crucial to your learning to be willing to give up the goals you have established for everything. The recognition that they are meaningless, rather than “good” or “bad,” is the only way to accomplish this.”
“Everything happens for you, not to you.”
I suppose that one of the reasons I repeat today’s Course lesson so frequently is that it reminds me to stop sizing life up. As Singer says, “Since the event has already passed, you are actually struggling with yourself, not with the event.”
I am noticing how well or how badly I allow life to just pass through me. Reading Singer’s book has allowed me to observe the many places that I do that well and the many places that I do this badly. He says, “Events are not problems, they’re just events. You’re resistance to them is what causes the problem.”
Now, this is not new to me. I often think about the two kids on a roller coaster, where one is having the time of his life and the other is freaking out. Same roller coaster. Different mental processes. Usually with relationships, I can allow whatever is brought to me to just pass through because I know that what is not love is a call for love, so I rarely take things personally.
But I am less skilled at embracing events. The septic tank backs up, I overdraft my bank account, I inadvertently a payment on a credit card – they are just events. Some of them have to do with my own level of conscious attention and some of them don’t. But when I remember that life is happening for me, not to me, I can accept the gift I am being given. Some of it is painful, but it is only painful because I am resisting it in some way, shape or form. I am clinging to my idea that it shouldn’t be happening.
Singer says, “The fact is, you’re generally using your will to resist one of two things: that which has already happened or that which hasn’t happened yet.”
I am fairly practiced at letting go of what is already past. Sometimes it upsets me for a while but then I repeat, “I am never upset for the reason I think,” and “I could see peace instead of this.” It still amazes me, but it does work. And believe me, in real estate I get plenty of opportunities to let go of things I didn’t particularly like.
But the what hasn’t happened yet can be more challenging. I look at my bills and mentally calculate how much I can pay off and still be able to eat. I am forever trying to hedge my bets in case things don’t go down the way I think they will.
Singer says, “If you want to be happy, you have to let go of the part of you that wants to create melodrama.” Often I do, but just as frequently, I get all caught up in imagining the worst. Daily I catch myself acting as if God is a deadbeat dad who can’t be trusted.
I KNOW better. I don’t like it when people treated me as if I can’t be trusted because it makes me want to close down and walk away. I have to consciously remind myself that I am the one creating the circumstances that reinforce what I am seeking – guilt or peace. As we read in our Tuesday night group the other nights, “Yet what you seek for is a source of joy as you conceive it. What you wish is true for you. “
This is why I need to be conscious of what my motives are—guilt or peace, fear or love. Also from our reading, “The test of everything on earth is simply this; ‘What is it for?’ The answer makes it what it is for you. It has no meaning of itself, yet you can give reality to it, according to the purpose that you serve.”
Everything happens for me, not to me. When I remember this, it is much easier to stay open to life. So today, as I venture out into my day, I remind myself that my goal is peace. My purpose is joy. My teaching is love.
I may not know what anything is for, but I can always know my own intention.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.