BUT REALLY, NEED IT BE LIKE THAT?

I think we would all agree that whatever we do in life, it is simply because we want to be happy.

Be it a desire for money, success, fame, knowledge, love or anything else that might be THE thing that we covet or crave for ourselves or for our loved ones. Bottom line: we want it because we feel it will make us happy. And inevitably there are times when we don’t get what we want or desire. Consequence: We are unhappy and experience pain. This is the story of the human existence since the beginning. And not much has changed since.

BUDDHA PICBut really, need it be like that?
Most of our pain results from resistance to what IS. We do not get what we so badly want and we think it’s so unjust to not get what we want or think we deserve. And sometimes we get what we don’t want and believe we don’t deserve: Loss, illness, poverty, a lack of success, violence and abuse. The list is endless. And ironically sometimes, we DO get what we want and find that we are still not happy! For we never expected the consequences of getting what we wanted. Or that the goal post has changed and expectations have increased. And we are back to square one. Still unhappy.

None of us are immune to the ravages of life. Life can be painful but I also believe that we aggravate our pain exponentially by resisting it. By telling ourselves stories about it. About how dreadful it is. We wallow in it and grow more attached to our pain. As if we were unique and the only ones to suffer. How arrogant!

Once we accept that that no one is immune, we lose the self-pity and stop resisting. And once we start accepting the IS, I think we have a real chance of happiness. Because then we can start focussing on what we DO have. This is nothing new, this simple concept of the glass: half full or half empty. It has been around I think, from the time humans began to question their existence. I for one know that I can’t remind myself enough of it. There is great practical benefit in reminding oneself of all the things one DOES have and be grateful for it. It makes for a great sense of happiness in life. As a sense of entitlement can actually become the cause of a great deal of grief.

Life is so much like a game of Billiards.
We aim and cannon the cue ball hoping that it will net the Red ball and score. But the aim might be wrong, the balls scattered and the end result completely beyond comprehension. Unless of course, we develop such a consummate skill and such an innate capacity in understanding the workings of the universe that we know precisely which ball to hit and where it will go. Perhaps thats why we are here in the first place. To learn to hit the ball so that we net the happiness. But then again, equating happiness with ‘getting’ something is itself the cause of unhappiness! A contradiction.

Often when I look back on my life, I realise that all the little things that I thought went ‘wrong’ or didn’t ‘get’ actually formed a choreography of events that eventually led to all the ‘Right’ things. The ‘Right’ was not even what I wanted or expected. But it was still RIGHT at that precise moment. Whether I liked it or not. And acceptance of THAT made me lighter and happier as a person.

When I talk of acceptance, I certainly do not mean passivity or lack of positive action. I simply mean the mental state of equanimity, no matter what the externals are at that point, whether positive or negative. Ultimately even those are perceptions. It is only time that reveals whether what was, was really positive and in our best interest. Or Not.

The specifics of what we want don’t really matter that much. They are simply heavy and unnecessary baggage that we lug around day in and day out. Letting go of the baggage of desires and expectations is actually letting go of unnecessary burden. What a relief that is!  Creating space for life to unfold as it naturally would without our constant Egoic interference, feels as natural as breathing.

In the scheme of the universe, in the cosmic lifetime, our life is simply a blink. Before we know it, it’s over. So let’s just play the Game of Billiards and enjoy it without getting too involved in the ideas of Winning or Losing!

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24 Comments

April 5, 2015 · 6:31 pm

24 responses to “BUT REALLY, NEED IT BE LIKE THAT?

  1. Wow! This brings me back to the thought process of what really matters versus what we initially perceived as mattering.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I resonate with EVERY SINGLE WORD of this post. Every thing you say here is absolutely the way it is…Exactly how I feel, if I remember of course :), yet could not put into to words so nicely. Great post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I am so glad it resonated with you. It’s something I’ve to remind myself as well – we can be so sane one moment and then fall flat the next, I know I do!:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • yes, exactly. it’s like one moment i have the answers to the universe and the next i am up to my ankles. but even when up to my ankles, there is a knowing about what you speak here…way way in the background 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Robert

    Dear Anjali,

    Thank you for this wonderful post. You’ve highlighted some real gems of perennial wisdom.

    Regardless of tradition, these gems are raised up as the prescriptions for well-being and lasting joy. So much personal pain can be avoided by putting to use these prescriptions.

    Thank you again!

    All good wishes,

    robert

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Robert, thank you for your always supportive and encouraging comments. I always need to remind myself of those prescriptions – but its also amazing how quickly I forget them! :))

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pleasure revisiting these nuggets of wisdom through your post, anjali. No wonder I am seeing equanimity writ all over your face…may the force keep guiding your way forward…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “In the scheme of the universe, in the cosmic lifetime, our life is simply a blink. Before we know it, it’s over.”
    –Yes, yes, yes. We are such silly little creatures, aren’t we? And we think we’re so intelligent, and know so much. I believe in a creator God, and that he made humans in His image and likeness, and that’s why we are so unique compared to all other life forms. However, sometimes we seem to think we are gods ourselves and that the universe revolves around us, don’t we?
    Hahaha 🙂
    Anyhow, great post Anjali. I, myself have just experienced the whole – ‘thinking I need such-and-such, when it wasn’t really the best thing. Then, all-of-a-sudden, what was truly idea, fell into my lap. It all worked out as what is best and right for me right now.
    Hope you had a lovely Easter.
    🙂 ❤

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  6. Beautiful, Anjali. I loved your billiard analogy, and how it dragged you in a paradoxical circle back to the beginning of the argument… None of us are plopped into the seas of life without getting wet. Best to swim a little and enjoy it. We’re so often seeking ways to avoid the beauty we’ve already been given.

    Peace
    Michael

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  7. Lovely thoughts Anjali…Life is not easy, as we face the challenges and the art of happiness lies in how we face it. Desire is something we all have and it is not an easy thing keep aside. Accepting what we have and what we get and being happy becomes the harbinger of better things and make our life blissful but we resist and keep expecting better things and we miss what we get and don’t live in our moments but live either in the past or in the future…
    Life is in its moments and life is being simple and life is being good everybody around you…
    Happy Living!!!

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  8. antimaverick@gmail.com

    I’d rather compare what you say to gardening instead of billiards.

    What you describe here is like removing weeds and pests from a garden. They will keep coming back, and it is a routine maintenance activity which must be done. No doubt it is vital.

    Greater happiness however comes from growing sunflowers in winter. Seeing a seemingly impossible dream with your eyes wide open – and making it come true.

    That’s where God resides. That’s the next step. Think about it.

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    • Thank you so much for visiting and your thoughtful comment. Your analogy of gardening is very pertinent and I certainly appreciated your thoughts about growing sunflowers in winter!

      Like

  9. Thought provoking. Can relate to this in every way

    Like

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