23 Aug 2011, 9:51am
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Reality

“What do you think of reality?”

“I’m against it. I’m completely against it.”

                                    Eckhart Tolle

                                    The Flowering of Human Consciousness

When you reflect on it, isn’t this our main issue?  We are in a near constant battle with Reality. Our resistance to what is happening in our moment-to-moment existence constitutes the major part of our problems. I better say how the past figures into this. Thoughts of the past, either longing or revulsion, I include when I use the term Reality.

That brings us to the core subject – our thoughts.  There is the thing it self, what is happening in the moment. Then there are our thoughts about it. We all make the mistake of missing “the thing itself” and getting captured or kidnapped by our thoughts. Those thoughts often include judgments, edits (this does not belong here), disappointments, and blame.  Rarely are we able to simply BE with Reality as it unfolds.  We editorialize our life, wanting to change this or that, instead of living it.

Sometimes this is part of a pattern of perfectionism. We believe everything could always be done better, look better, sound better, taste better etc. This is a very uncomfortable way to live. This is true both for the person living that way and those around them.  Another pattern is self-hatred. Hatred may seem to be a strong word. But, when we see someone habitually doing this number, always finding themselves lacking in some area, it sure isn’t love.

 

I must acknowledge the times when Reality is truly unpleasant, scary, or painful.  This is when resistance is strongest. Sometimes the best we can do is to make sure we’re breathing and lower our expectations to the simplest of things. Even seeing that our shoes match may be too much. Perhaps we don’t want to leave the house.

Even if we do leave the house, we all have days when it’s as though the stuffing has gone out of us and we can’t get our work done.

Accepting that this is our current Reality, for whatever reason, is a first step toward unblocking our energy. At an appropriate time, we can unpack the reasons for our lethargy, one by one, and work with them. When we acknowledge and accept our feelings, we break out of resistance and have a chance to get back into flow.

When “Reality Bites” we can seek the help and support of another person or group or we can get out into Nature and allow it’s healing properties to soothe us. I particularly like sitting by rivers. They provide a window on why flow works (and resistance doesn’t).

Oftentimes we resist or fear an imagined Reality that has not yet arrived. Fear of the future occupies a large portion of our thinking. The truth is that either the imagined Reality may never happen or, when it does, we’ll bring to bear whatever resources we have and we’ll survive it (in less time than we spent worrying about it.) Black clouds on the horizon can simply alert us to pay attention, to gather our resources, and make plans.

 

Becoming aware of how often we believe our thoughts, living in our heads, rather than responding to moment-to-moment Reality unfolding is a valuable meditation.  The reason people often feel most alive in a crisis (and may be at their most effective) is that there is no time to think about it.  Consider staying out of your mind for awhile!