You cannot be where you want to be, you can only be where you are now. You can feel about it what you feel, without guilt - discontentment, dissatisfaction, frustration, ..., or contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment,... I am not writing of liking or not liking, and certainly not of a fake facade of positivity when you feel all but positive. That sounds simple, even trite, but few seem to understand how vital this is to live a graceful life for the good of others and oneself. We are being socialized to live elsewhere, to escape the present even through use of technology - Why enjoy driving down the road and the silence and scenery, when you can turn on the book reading or music or call someone on the phone? The message is often to us that the place we are is simply not good enough for us, even if for others, the place we are is a means to get somewhere else. I have learned, through much pain, that the only way to move on in life well is to accept where I am and, acceptance not as a mere resignation, but as a grateful seeing of the blessing of where I am. And, yes, sometimes we do need to move on, and there is better for us. So, again, I am not speaking of a mere resignation. Religiously, this would be like saying, "If I don't see 'God' here, I will not see 'God' anywhere." Again, maybe we need to see 'God' somewhere else, but we will not be prepared to unless we do so here, now.
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Ironically, a chapter in Swami Chetanananda, Open Heart, Open Mind, is "A Wonderful Life," but begins with the sentences, "Nobody gets what he or she wants in life. Nobody."
This is somewhat like the memorable time, still etched in my brain circuity indelibly, of going, as a shy youth, to a lovely girl's classroom in high school. I knocked on the door. When it opened, I interrupted the class and asked for this girl by name and that I had had my eyes on, so to speak, and wanted to ask out for a date. This was a huge move for me, for I was very shy. Then she walked to the door and closed it behind her. I smiled and asked her if she would go out on a date with me. She smiled... "No." Well, I tried, but she essentially said, "You're not getting what you want." Now, I can smile about that. So with life, lessons plenty in "No, you're not getting what you want," and, later often, we smile, even laugh, about some of these times. Often, we are thankful we did not get what we wanted. Yet, this gratitude does not erase the initial displeasure of "No."
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Just think about it. We have some moments, momentary, when it seems life joins around us like a caressing web of agreement, seeming to give us a respite of undiluted pleasure, say "Yes." Life, in these moments, seems to say, "Here is a taste of heaven." Sometimes, we are in such a short duration, and we suffer, as Buddhism teaches, in knowing that such heaven on earth cannot last. This means, even while we enjoy the "taste of heaven," we are knowing it is momentary - like enjoying some hours of joyful love-making with your lover and knowing it cannot last and life must return to "normal." I recall reading that Michael Jackson said the only time he was happy was on-stage. How sad, yet many of us live for being on-stage, for the next moment of pleasure, and, then, we cannot fully enjoy it for knowing the pleasure is seeping away - life is like a bucket with a tiny hole in the bottom.
Possibly, a beginning point to deal with this world of incessant temporariness is acceptance. I remember once Vonne trying to learn how to bake homemade biscuts. She knew I enjoyed much my mother's biscuits, and she wanted to cook biscuits like that for me. I sat at our little table in the white block apartment, where we were attending school in training for ministry, in North Florida. My mother made wonderful biscuts. So, Vonne took the recipe, and I awaited the outcome. The outcome was nothing that looked like what my mother lifted off the cookie sheet. However, as Vonne placed the biscuts on the table, admitting about their contorted look and even laughing, I took one and put it on a plate. I, as I did with mother's biscuts, began doing what we call in Georgia USA as sopping. So, I dipped and rolled the biscut in the homemade cane syrup, and bragged about how good the biscuit tasted to me. Really, it was a good biscut, but it looked terrible. It was good in that I did not expect Vonne to make biscuts like my mother. I accepted the biscut and appreciated it, and sopped and laughed with her. I enjoyed those biscuts, for I appreciated that they came from the heart of someone who had given her best in Love for me.
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Whatever we get or wherever we go, if we do not learn acceptance, we will find we will never enjoy peace, never enjoy life. And enjoying life with appreciation may not, at a given time, mean enjoying the circumstances of our life. Spiritually, we need to recall that life is part of Life, but Life is so much more. In some sense, I can be fully here, but, also, know living inside me is a Home that can never be fulfilled in this present place and time. Centuries on centurires of wise men and women have affirmed this for us to heed and as encouragement to all.
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*Quietness, Tortle_Cat, Littlelakey, Flickr
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*Lotus of the Heart is a Work of Arem Nahariim-Samadhi ~ a Hospice Chaplain, interspiritual author, writer, poet, and bicyclist. He is someone in love with Life and inviting others to that same ecstasy of Love ~ and, by the way, herein is nothing he claims as his own.