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The Way That It Isn't

Great spiritual leaders keep saying this. Over and over they say it. In writings they say it, and in spoken words. They say it succinctly sometimes and other times it is more verbose. But every time it is the same.

And every time we want to resist it.

Though we must not.

They say, "When we feel great stress or even suffering, when our anger or sorrow, frustration or fear overwhelms is really not so much because of what is happening, but more because of our wanting it to be the way that it isn't."

Shall we sit with that for a moment? Shall we be still and quiet and let it settle around us as truth, at least mostly?

Because it is. At least mostly. It is truth.

It is not simple truth. It is not without effort to understand or to create in our own lives. But it is truth nonetheless.

And it might be wonderful if life was always how we want it to be and if life was kind and easy and just. But often it is not, and our wanting it to be only makes it worse. We stress more. We suffer more.

Because we focus so much on the way that it isn't.

Perhaps then, in those moments and days and weeks and even in years of anger or sorrow, frustration or fear, we look not for reasons and blame. Maybe we don't pound our fists over it every single day and talk about it to every person we meet and keep it alive and prospering.

We feel what we feel and we notice that we aren't where we want to be, but we don't stay there. We don't get stuck. We just don't.

Life is too short for kicking and screaming too long. It will all be over soon. It really will be.

So instead, we look simply toward solutions. We look toward what will bring us more of the kindness and ease and fairness we wanted but didn't get. We search for lessons and meaning and purpose and even gratitude. In the shittiest of times, we look for what is still okay.

We look for what is okay.

And not at the way that it isn't.

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