You know… that list of things we’d like to do to improve our lives. I wonder what yours has on it. Some of us want to become less busy, and to give more attention to those we love. Some of us want to avoid suffering and become happy. Some of us want to achieve something creative. Some of us want adventure, but without compromising our health.
But our intentions and our actions seem to go in different directions. We mean to make time for loved ones, but work is so time-consuming. We mean to be happy, but anxious thoughts are hard to shift. We mean to achieve, but life gets in the way. We mean to enjoy adventure, but life becomes unstable, and we get tired.
For everything on the list, it seems, there is a block. It is so tempting to blame the blocks for our inaction… to blame work for being busy, to blame our anxious minds for being obsessive, to blame the world for being demanding, to blame our temperaments for being un-resilient. We feel trapped in our lives, forced by the world to work on the wrong projects, forced by our insides to get upset.
THE CESSATION OF BLAMING
We can spend years in that space. But eventually we realise two things
- We realise that blaming the world, and blaming ourselves, gets us nowhere. It’s no one’s fault that things are the way they are. We learn to accept the present.
- We start to acknowledge that there is always something, however small, that we can do to improve things. We learn to act.
SHIFT TO AWARENESS
In other words, we experience a shift in consciousness. We realise that our own awareness is where everything happens. We experience busy-ness; we experience events; we experience demands; we experience adversity. Our happiness comes when our awareness can experience our experiences without difficulty. We stop blaming, and start living.
CALM, COMPASSIONATE ACTION
This does not mean that we stop acting. But it does mean that our actions come from a still centre of calm awareness. We are no longer angry and frustrated at the world. We act out of compassion, both for ourselves and others.