It often seems that the more we try to change something, the harder it gets. We try to get rid of an addiction but we find ourselves doing the same thing over and over again. We try to change our partner’s personality but he/she resists our efforts and we end up breaking the relationship. We try to be loving, responsible parents to our children but we are overwhelmed by the myriad things we have to do that we hardly pay any attention to them. We try to be a good worker but there is so much backstabbing in the office that the atmosphere is crackling with toxicity.
Why are things difficult? Why do we have to go through so much hardship to achieve our goals? And why do we fail so often? The reason is because we force the situation to bend to our will. We want something or someone to make us happy. We attach ourselves to the situation, every fragment of it. Our attention is focused entirely on the form of each moment (good or bad), and not on the formless (the space that allows everything to be as it is). And because every form is fleeting and ephemeral, we are in a constant battle to hold on to it. We further strengthen the situation with our negative energy and resentment. And when things don’t go our way, which is always the case, we resort to using alcohol or drugs to numb the pain. Or we find another partner who we think will bring us happiness. But once the effects of alcohol or drugs subside, or our partner’s flaws come out, the pain comes roaring back. Then we are really in trouble because we feel there is no way out.
But the truth is that there is a way out. The key is to allow this moment, good or bad, to be as it is. Instead of fighting each moment, we look at it without any judgment or comment. This is at first hard to do because our mind tries to take over our body. It wants us to do something, even if that something causes us harm. But if we continue to observe things, we are creating space within ourselves. We allow the universe to come in and work through us. And it does a far better job than what we, in our limited capacity, can ever do. Why? Because the universe is whole, whereas we are only a fragment of it. When we allow it to enter our lives, we let go of our fragmented views and become part of the whole totality, which has the fullness and richness of life. We feel an aliveness within us that is much more powerful that any potent alcohol, drug or person. We feel our true self, and are able to connect with everything and everyone. Out of this sense of awareness comes the solution, answer, or right action.
So if we want to change something, we start by accepting each moment as it is. Even if the present moment brings with it pain and suffering, we surrender to it. We realize that suffering is the fire that is needed to burn our ego so our pure, true self can emerge. We go beyond good and bad and experience the fullness of life.