The most predictable thing in life is that the situations of life are most unpredictable! Difficult situations pop up as if out of thin air and stand as a wall between us and our desires and expectations! Unprepared, we fall easy prey to the sudden challenge and wonder, “why me?” Our lack of awareness brings to the fore instant reactions; inner turmoil begins and brews, we lose our balance, and become angry, resistive, and at times violent. Or we chew our inner frustrations and suppress them into our subconscious layers of mind. The body starts to absorb our reaction, aches and pains manifest, and our mind and body are in disharmony! We are unhappy!
When one unconsciously feeds negative thoughts and emotions, the result is low self-esteem and self worth, which has a snowball effect leading one’s mind into an abyss. But the flip side is that a positive thought or emotion can turn around any situation into a great beginning of a new journey that leads to self worth and success.
The person on whom we are most dependent is the one to whom we have given the switch of our life. That person can turn the switch on and we are all happiness. At any moment, that person can also turn the switch off if he or she so desires. Then our contentment is switched off. All the material happiness in life is just handing over our switch to people and pets, philosophies and concepts, ideas and ideals.
Most of our unhappiness is due to our acceptance of what others say about us. Most often the other person is wrong. But if instead of absorbing what the other says, or what we believe they think about us, we accept the words of our higher self, then we are on the road to self-management. As we listen to the voice within, which loves and accepts us as we are, and speaks to us from our own conscience, we can stand up straight and bold, affirming the positive thought of accepting our selves as worthy. When we move with our head held high, but avoid high-headedness, then others see that their spells have not worked and begin to accept us as a role model instead.
In this way, the flip side of the same difficult situation could be painted like this: we are mindful, aware of our inner being, available to the moment, non-reactive but sensibly responsive, compassionate, and understanding. We live in the true spirit of surrender, not to our reactive, illusive mind, but to the melody of the calm inner Being. With acceptance comes a simple note of surrender; it empowers our mind and instantly lifts it up, helping us to befriend our mind, and through the calm clarity we see new dimensions of the same situation! As a person awake and alive, we respond to the situation and what follows is a miracle, the miracle of life, which is Celebration.
We are here to experience the efficacy of the second scenario in our daily life, and that is mindful living! But how do we reach this beautiful state of inner calm and acceptance?
Meditation teaches us to become the observer or witness of our thoughts and situations. If we truly want happiness in life then we need to learn the art of witnessing or distancing ourselves from external situations. If two persons are in a heated argument, and we watch from a distance we may be entertained! But if we are part of the argument, we are annoyed and frustrated. Distance gives us scope to understand and respond with empathy and it also helps us understand our reactions better. We can craft better ways to handle persons and situations. We can keep our calm, heal our self, and heal others, too.
The great theologian and poet Rumi once asked, “Do you pay regular visits to yourself?” Our mind is preoccupied worrying about what others think and all the areas of life that we presume would make us feel secure and happy. Meditation is finding the time to pay a visit to our self, to just stop right where we are and say, “Hi.” It is like stopping at the stoplight for a few moments before we proceed. Even a 5-minute stop to meditate and pay attention to our inner world could trigger the light of consciousness. Visiting our own self is what meditation is all about. It is self-awareness and self-love. After all, we are each unique and special. We are worth getting to know. Meditation is the best way for us to discover Who We Are!
Caught in the repetitive routine, many of us forget our profound need of deep, mindful inner introspection. This silence is the very foundational source of true happiness in life. Conversation with the divine starts here. The Universe’s voice is heard when our voice stops. Once we start practicing meditation in daily life, the inner voice tells us in an unambiguous way our true purpose of life. Once we follow our inner voice all our regrets dissolve creating space for contentment and fulfillment of life. Unpredictable situations will still happen, but we will take them as challenges, building blocks to our new inner peace, self-awareness, and self love.