The thing is…I know I make it worse by telling myself, “I want this to change,” “I want this to happen,” “I don’t want this to happen,” “I don’t want to deal with this situation,” “I’ll be happy when this happens.”
I’m perfectly and completely aware that we think ourselves into feeling agitated or dissatisfied. I know that’s what I’m doing these days. I have a certain vision in my mind of what I want life to be like right now, and since that vision is fading, I’m stomping my feet like a child, and wishing it were otherwise. This is the very opposite of how Buddhism teaches me to handle such situations. There is a great quote by Joko Beck that I snagged from another blog:
Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath. Every moment is the Guru.
I love this quote. It brings my thinking back to the present, and knowing that while I don’t have control over the situation, I do have control over how I respond to the situation. Intellectually, I know this, and often I’m able to apply it, but lately, I’ve fallen into old habits, and find myself pouting and stomping my feet more than I ‘d like to admit. And, of course, the pouting and stomping takes time away from actual action that could help me achieve my vision (but sometimes I don’t even know what action to take, which leads to further pouting on my part. You see where this is going. (Nowhere)).