Have you ever been at war? With yourself? With others? With Life? My experience is that I am a battle wager and a war loser. I am trying, quite desperately in fact, to think of one war I waged and won. I am pretty sure the score to date is
LIFE 7,200,907,108 ERIN 0
I may have won one somewhere along the way but damn it if I can recall that now…
Anyway, sorry, I am getting off topic…perhaps the whole war wager things deserves a blog of its own…
But given all my war waging over the decadesI have learned me a thing or two about myself, you, love, life and the very powerful skill of acceptance.
I am not sure what I was trying to do when I was younger — I think just feel good in the moment applied, consequences be damned! I was operating completely under the rule and dominion of “short term gain for long term pain.” I didn’t give a fuck that my current course of action would set me back thousands or years, if it felt good right here, right now, that was good enough for me.
You can imagine how that turned out…
But, over the past decade, I unwillingly and without any merit of my own, began a process, quite unintentionally, where I began making smarter choices, changing the deal to “short term pain for longer term gain,” began to take stock in myself and my limitations and embarked upon a journey of making friends with my life. Not the life I wish I was having, or thought I should be having, but the life I was in fact, indeed, actually living.
I still struggle. Most of the time it is just my head telling me shit that isn’t true:
Things would be better if you lived on 10 acres in the woods.
Things would be better if you lived in a Van with much fewer possessions.
Things would be better if you had him…
Things would be better if I made more money.
Things would be better if I spent less money.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
And not one of those things would make my life permanently better, in fact, most of them would just change the problems I currently have for problems that might be much worse, or maybe if I am lucky, better. Total gamble!
The whole point I am trying to make is that it is a not so subtle violence to your life when you are constantly comparing the life you have with this fancied, imagined and fictitious life that exists nowhere but inside your mind. I mean if someone was doing that to you everyday…
You would be better if you…
You would be happier if you…
You would be healthier if you…
Wait, we totally do that to each other and ourselves every single day!
And thus depression is up, pharmaceutical sales are through the roof, we have more things but are less satisfied with what we have and are caught up in the constant craving for MORE…it doesn’t even matter anymore what we want more of, just a pervasive and unrelenting MORE is all there is that can never be satisfied, only appeased or quelled until the next awful craving comes along. And off we go!
So this is what we do to ourselves, to each other and to our lives. We violate the life we have, the people we are and indulge in this never ending fantasy that there is a better life to be had, we are sure of it!
What if we already do?
What if the best life available to us is right now?
What if there is no better?
Would you feel cheated?
I think there are a great many of us that can say yes…but this is what I mean by making friends with your life…what if we just began to think about the life we have right now, differently? What if this life, right here, right now, is the best life you could possibly have in this moment?
Wouldn’t you be kinder to yourself?
I have been and the result has been amazing. Every time I step across the threshold of my home, I say the following:
I am so lucky to live here. I love this house and the life I get to live in it.
Every time I do my job, I say the following:
I am so lucky to get to do this. To be my own boss. To do this work.
Every time I think about needing or wanting something “new”:
I am so lucky to have all the things I already have and there is nothing new that I can add right now that will ever make it better…
And even though there is a demonic critic that lives inside my head that has a whole host of things to say, with quite a bit of experiential evidence to back up the critique, I am learning to just say, “isn’t that interesting…” And then get back to making friends with the reality of my current life which is amazing.
I want this life. I want this house. I want this body. I want this job. I want the friends I have. I want the family I have. I want the people I love in my life to be well, happy and free of suffering.
It is a process for sure and I am not great at it every moment of every day but I am on the path of making friends with this life, the one that I have right now, not the one that appears so much better in the haunted forest of tomorrow or next year. This one, right here. I am blessed and content with this messy, somewhat unbalanced, but amazing life that I have right here.
May you find everything you want, need and desire in the life you are currently living and in so doing make a wonderful friendship with yourself, and your current, imperfect but amazing life.