Our society and culture has trained us to believe that life is conditional. Once this, then that.
This training to be dissatisfied with life in the present moment is actually what makes the machine of the markets work remarkably well. It is why we continue to consume and create, for hope of a better life in the future. Once this, then that.
The dissatisfaction that we may feel with our status, our body, our career, our relationships, our institutions and more dominates our thoughts. Constantly. Setting goals defines specific conditions for our happiness and further perpetuates our culture of dissatisfaction with reality. Once this, then that.
The prevalent belief that we have adopted is that life can be better, only if we had something more or something different. And that we must change ourselves or the world must change, for us to be happy. Once this, then that.
Did it ever occur to us that we may already be happy? And not because of the things, lifestyles, experiences or achievements in our lives. Those are all sources of temporary pleasure and thrill. We may already be happy because it is in our nature to be so. But we have been conditioned to believe otherwise.
There is a way to break-free of this conditioning of once this, then that.
We have a choice, between two options.
First, we can do what society and culture wants us to do. To put our energy into rearranging our respective worlds. This means trying to put things, people and situations in place with how we believe they should all be. All of the ideas that we have formed in our minds over the years, if not decades, for how things should be now dominate our thinking. This is good and that is bad. This is right and that is wrong. This is better than that.
We exhaust all of our energy trying to control the outside world, which we have very little control over to begin with. We are all trying to create different worlds simultaneously aligned with different beliefs, when there is only one true reality that we all share. This leads to a lot of friction. With this first choice, we have once again made our happiness conditional.
Our fear is that if we choose to be satisfied and accept reality as it is, what will happen to our motivation and ambition? Will we simply watch Netflix, scroll through Instagram and eat pizza all day? The simple answer is no, as it is not in our nature to be satisfied with that reality. We may experience it but will not be satisfied with it and will then begin to unconsciously change it.
There is a second choice. And that is to choose how we show up. What is the quality or energy that each of us wish to show up with, in every situation, challenging or otherwise. This choice for how we each show up is like carrying an umbrella by our side in the rain. When it is raining, we can choose to complain about the reality of the situation and try to control the rain (which we can’t actually do, that’s the first choice above where we spend our energy trying to rearrange the world to our liking). Or we can choose to pull out our umbrella and carry on without any concern, agitation, anxiety, frustration, worry or stress. Because we have our umbrella, and we trust that it will keep us mostly dry in the rain, we are fine and comfortable when it rains.
There will be unwanted, undesirable and unpleasant moments along our journey. Instead of obsessing over minimizing or eliminating them (which is difficult, if not impossible), we can focus instead on being prepared for them. Have the confidence in ourselves that we can deal with anything that comes our way.
And eventually, we won’t even see these moments as unwanted, undesirable or unpleasant. We will see them simply as part of reality. This is how we can learn to live life with a little less friction and a little more ease. And flow in harmony with reality. Where everlasting and boundless happiness exists, unconditionally.