Awhile back I wrote a guest post that really resonates with my latest video, Life is Not Fair? Whaaaat, and I want to share it with you here.
It's about grabbing hold of thoughts and ideas when things get shaky - and holding on to them so tightly that we lose mindfulness and openness (and it's also about aiming for something a little more helpful).
The guest post was a reaction to a post Bridget Pilloud wrote called Eff You Law of Attraction.* Here it is:
Grab That Thought...or Not
When I read Bridget’s recent post, Eff You Law of Attraction, I was nodding my head so much that I got a neck ache.
In that effing post (grin), Bridget talked about: “…the downfall of the Law of Attraction.” She explained: "We are not rats in a maze with a food button, and if we just push the food button, we get the kibble…
This is to say that we are working in a place with many moving parts…What we desire can sometimes be at odds with what we need, with what we’re here to do.” And noted: “The Law of Attractionists would say, Well, of course, if you feel that, then you get that. Isn’t that convenient?”
To which I respond (head still nodding vigorously): Yes, it is mighty convenient. And awfully easy to grab onto - way easier than real life.
Real life is slippery – messy and beautiful, glorious and mundane, difficult and easy. It’s not one-sided. Not always Winter, not always Spring (unless you live in the tropics, or on the equator – or… Note to self: forget weather metaphor).
Life has its rose moments (oh gag, another metaphor), but it also has manure moments (which roses actually need). Ups and downs, roses and manure – real life contains it all.
In real life sometimes we’re dancing with a friend who just bought the house of their dreams and sometimes we’re holding someone who’s ranting because their awesome-wonderful house burned down.
Sometimes we’re saving a horse from going to slaughter and sometimes that horse turns out to be schizophrenic (see Bridget’s aforementioned post). And sometimes that being – the one who’s dealing with schizophrenia – is your horse, sometimes it’s your kid – or you.
When the hard stuff (manure) comes – when we hurt or get knocked around by life (which will happen once we’re over say, four years old – and for many of us even before that) – we often reach for something: an absolute – a rule – an explanation. We grab hold of thoughts (ideals) that we think will keep us safe, or bring safety back.
We lose mindfulness and openness.
Thoughts and feelings that are safer, or easier, than real life have a definite attraction – no question. They can help us believe we don’t need to feel things – like uncertainty. They allow us not to question, allow us to ignore and/or judge others (and ourselves). They can allow us the luxury of thinking we’re safe because we follow the rules. Then we wind up distancing ourselves from people who are experiencing both the joys and heartbreaks of life.
And that’s not real life – or at least not real helpful. For anybody.
I’d like to propose something a little different. Do I have some kind of plan – a rule maybe? Something reliable? Nah, that’d just be another thing to hang on to – to grab. Another attempt to wrap things up in an uncomplicated and clean way – but real life isn’t clean or uncomplicated.
I’m suggesting something I always often infrequently remember to do (ok, the thing is – I forget this all the time, so I’m hoping we can remind each other). What if – next time we feel pulled to grab on to a rule or belief that explains it all – we just embrace whatever’s happening instead? What if we go all mindful on life’s ass?
Maybe – instead of looking for the fix (or the rule or belief) – we can throw some Square-Peg curiosity – some openness – into the equation?
Real life is big – there’s a lot of mystery. What if we check those absolutes at the door?
“To expound and propagate concepts is simple, to drop all concepts is difficult and rare.”
*Bridget's blog, The Intuitive Bridge, where this post was published in early 2010, has undergone a beautiful redo (go check it out!) and neither Eff You Law of Attraction or my guest post are available on the new site at this time.
How do we accept and celebrate our uniqueness? Where do we find community?
This is what we talk about in our brand-new e-guide packages: Square-Peg Celebration & Community is an Inside Job.
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