A lot of people these days complain about things never being perfect and life being so darn hard. It almost becomes their mantra and they then remain stuck within a negative spiral. We all know life can be challenging and unbelievably frustrating at times. But if we come to believe and expect this is mostly all there is, we’ll continue to find a lot more of the same. If on the other hand we were to accept and embrace the nature of life – with its ups and downs, chaos and uncertainties, action and re-actions – we actually wouldn’t have to be so surprised or upset when “life” just does what life tends to do.
There are moments and situations in each of our lives that may feel perfect, but life will never be perfect all the time. We all know this, and yet we still butt up against life’s imperfect nature and continue to use it as a reason or excuse to not be happy. Thus, we’ll never find the joy that’s always there waiting to be harnessed; ‘there’ being wherever you want to find it.
“A joy filled life with unresolved problems” is how Stephen likes to put it, and we can all have one, starting right now. Since the obstacles and antagonists won’t ever dissolve for good, finding the joy in spite of the imperfections of life should be our unrelenting goal. Find a reason to be happy now – find yourself feeling wiser, calmer and more empowered too!
But people are creatures of habits that don’t suit them. They get so tired, so resentful of having to do the same things over and over again; not realizing they’re fighting the nature of being and exhausting themselves with the wasted effort. “Life is always going to be unresolved to an extent,” Stephen says, “because we have to keep eating, breathing and doing human activities to survive… And there are always consequences to that.” The joy however – which is buried beneath – is found in acceptance rather than stubbornness; and thus not trying to resolve things that cannot be picture-perfectly wrapped.
In each of our lives there are going to be conflicts that never seem to go away – like dysfunctional family stuff, tragedies that change us, intractable oppositions, and impossible situations. “There are always things that just go incredibly wrong and are conventionally unsolvable.” You just can’t make everybody happy, nor can you rectify everything. We fear and fight the existence of difficulties, but have to deal with them as long as we’re here. There’s always going to be something undone, askew or uncomfortable.
So what are we going to do in the meantime? Are we going to let it ruin yet another moment, yet another day, yet another year? The ‘I’ll finally be happy when I get this out of the way’ kind of mentality doesn’t work very well because there’s always something to fret about next. And then here we go again letting another hassle get in the way of our happiness.
Yes, life is a learning process, and learning can be challenging at times, but it’s not an unbearable lesson or test that we’re failing in the meantime. It can just feel that way because similar things keep popping up, making us feel as if we’re spinning our wheels or obstructing the view of that beautiful horizon we so love to dream about.
Do you find yourself needing absolutes in life – like flawless truth or impervious rationale – and then feeling continually frustrated or let down? Would you really prefer to be free and happy instead, creating your own life in the here and now? Just take a step back and see the multi-faceted life that touches and moves us all. Decide to deal with what can be dealt with and commit to returning to happiness as many times a day as possible. All that fretting, worrying and complaining can really choke the life force out of you, and isn’t usually based on much we can control anyway.
So when something goes wrong, instead of operating from a stuck place ~ create a new thought, a new solution or a new opportunity. Resilience plus creativity breed adventurism and character. Forging a new way, a different reaction or a more practical perspective means we’re no longer trapped by our minds’ neurosis. Learn to trust your intelligence, respect what makes you happy and keep chugging along. Become a master at harmonizing with the screwed up nature of things. You know Yoda would be proud.