It’s all in your head.
No really. It’s all in your head.
Everything that seems to be the source of your problems isn’t really your problem.
You’re not having a bad day because that guy cut you off in traffic and you were late to work. It’s not because your milk went bad. And it’s not because your boss asked you to do two weeks of work in three days (although, that’s pretty rough).
The anger and stress don’t come from those situations. Those negative emotions come from your mind.
I’m not saying there aren’t billions of other minds out there causing trouble in the world. BUT…
You bare the weight and responsibility of your mind, which means when you respond to something bad happening, that’s on you.
No one but you is going to feel the frustration and lingering effects of that negativity. Buddha says that anger is like holding a hot coal and expecting the other person to be burned.
It really isn’t worth it.
Have you ever really, I mean REALLY, not wanted to do something or go to a certain event? And then, at the last minute, you hear that it’s been canceled?
Maybe it was a long meeting, maybe it was a dinner with your in-laws, maybe it was that review on harassment in the workplace.
When you realize you don’t have to go, the whole world will seem to have changed. You get a huge sense of relief. The day is a little brighter.
Here’s the thing…
Nothing really happened or changed. Your mind just stopped centering on that negative idea.
Seldom are things as bad as we think they will be. Or as good as we think they will be. Human beings are pretty terrible at estimating how miserable or happy any given thing will make them.
So why not just be with them for what they are?
An old Zen proverb says: “Enlightenment comes easy to the person of no preference.”
To someone who is not worried and anxious about what comes next or how something will be, it will be AS IT IS. And they accept that.
I know we all can’t do that 100% of the time. We all have bad days. Just do what you can and touch into the spirit of making your walk through the world the best and calmest journey you can.