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Author: admin Created: 10/9/2009 5:28 AM
Stuff Happens. Accepting it is the key to happiness.

Chapter Five, in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, talks of our fear. it controls our lives. It is the motivation for practically everything we do. We become angry when we feel threatened. Our fear is always that we will lose something. A possession, a status, an affection, security. Resentments are nothing more than continued anger at someone who we fear will take one of these things from us. At the core of this is self-centeredness. Basically, we are concerned with satisfying our own needs and wants. This wouldn’t be so bad if we could actually satisfy ourselves. But, in truth, as soon as we satisfy one ‘want’ or ‘need’,  it is quickly replaced with another.

The solution is to not be self-centered. To instead, be motivated by helping others. It doesn’t matter who, just anyone but ourselves. This removes the fear of any “loss”, and since “loss of something” is the only thing we ever fear, it removes all fear.

It is our motivations that we need change. If we help the needy because we want to raise...

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We frequently find ourselves in stressful situations that we feel powerless to control. However, the majority of the time we can control not only the cause of the situation, but also the method to eliminate the situation once we have found ourselves in it...

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Anytime “things don’t go the way we want them to” we get angry. Not knowing “how things will turn out” is the core of our fear. Acceptance for how things are now and acceptance for how things will be is required for peace of mind. With that said, there are things we can actively do to minimize anger and worry. We can be very careful with our promises.

Frequently, when something is “not going the way we want it to”, it is because we have promised someone that “we can make this thing happen”. When we are unable to do this, for example we promised someone that we would meet them at 3:00pm today, yet we find ourselves stuck in traffic, this leads to anger, “the traffic right now is not what I want it to be”. As we race to keep the appointment we worry “the traffic will get congested and slow me down”. If we did not make this promise, we could just turn on the radio and not worry at all, we get there when we get there.

It is the promise that creates the stressful situation.

Being careful with our...

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While the Serenity Prayer is a good way to start your day, because the prayer is about acceptance, and the lack of it is the root of all anger, worry, and depression. The Saint Francis Prayer has a very practical aspect. The source of “things that bother us”, are usually other beings. The Saint Francis Prayer is about being loving and open to all beings. This openness is a proactive thing. Proactive means, that this is something that we ‘do’, not just something that we simply tolerate, and put up with.

It is easier to be proactive about something. You can do this even when you are distracted with other things (such as your own wants and desires).

For example, most mornings, the security guard at the door of your work likes to pull you into a conversation. You dread this, and thinking about this unwelcome delay ,upsets your peace of mind as you drive into work....

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According to dictionary.reference.com : Tragedy - a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster: the tragedy of war.

I had a recent situation with this web server. The database server was locked up and refusing any connections. I do not know why this was happening and the reason it rose to the level of Tragic, is that I planned to launch a commercial venture on the server and having it lock up for unknown reason dashed this dream. The loss of a valued dream is very tragic if the dream is your own.

I had to stop at the time and think “This will one day pass. In the future you will be happy again”. At the time this is a thought that is hard to believe. I could only know this truth intellectually. If my dream is truly gone. If I am never able to figure out why the server keeps crashing (I can’t launch the commercial venture if I don’t know what is wrong with the server. Paying customers would be very angry if the server keeps going...

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Is it possible to seek out Chaos to avoid worry?

Could every encounter with, uncertainty and chaos, enrich us and provide evidence that we are able to survive it?

Our anger is always because we do not like a situation the way it is. When we don’t know how something is going to be (actually we never really know how something will be), we anticipate the situation being ‘something that will not want’, and we fear this possible future event. Basically, we fear the unknown, and the future is always unknown.

Ignorance is Bliss Perhaps a happy person, is a person who thinks, temporarily at least, that they CAN see the future and that future holds good things for them.

For example, lets say I have just found out I have won a large amount of money. This feeling is so overwhelming that my anticipation of all future events is seen through a reality that consists mostly of this powerful amount of money. I anticipate problems that will easily be solved by simply spending the money.

I then...

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The worry and the fear that you feel right now is in the future. There is nothing to fear right now, if there were, you would not have time to feel “worry”. To worry takes time.

Ultimately, the answer is to accept the feelings you feel, because it is the “resistance” of them that is causing the mental ,and sometimes physical pain, that you are feeling. The thing that you are resisting, is the reality of the way things are right now.

But, we want this “pain of worry” to go away. However, first, for a moment, accept the worry, accept the pain. This is what you are feeling right now, this is reality, recognize it, and accept that it is happening right now.

Now it is less, the thought are still there, how do we prevent the thoughts from turning into full blown worry again? It is impossible to stop thinking. The human mind cannot be turned off.

The “worry” is in the future. We are not God, so we do not absolutely know what will happen in the future or how we feel when the future arrives....

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I really like the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is doubt, faith ;
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy
O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

This prayer make no expectations of God...

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This website (http://www.awakeblogger.com/2008/09/the-10-very-best-zen-stories/) contains the following story:

Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

...

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Today I heard someone say that we should respond to things not react. This may seem like the same thing, but I believe I understand what the difference is.

I have known for some time that when I say things out of emotion I later regret what I said. This provides a lot of material for my worries (I wonder how that person will react when they hear what I said?). I admonish myself not to say things out of emotion, but emotion always comes, and it seems like it cannot be controlled.

However, If tell myself to formulate a response rather than a reaction this process comes to mind:

1) Should I say anything at all? – When I react because of emotion (we just found out we have to work this weekend!) the reaction is bound to be negative. If I open my mouth to formulate a response, I sometimes realize that there is nothing constructive for me to say. Most emotional reactions are just “diarrhea of the mouth”, useless words spewed out into the world by me to no benefit to anyone including myself.

2) What do I hope to gain by my response? – Again, this stops most responses because, since I should accept all situations and never expect anything, why am I bothering to respond at all? So, unless I am going to say “I refuse to work this weekend”, I should probably not say anything at all. Note, that I have to accept the consequences of my “response” not to work, but I am free to have that response...

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