I have written before about my ongoing struggle with acceptance. This weekend caused me to think about it again, as I dealt with cold weather, loss of sleep and work crises. I became more irritable as the weekend went on, culminating in a serious bad mood when the Bears lost yesterday. Why did I feel so out of whack? I started to take a good look at my thoughts and realized I'd fallen into my old pattern. During challenges, I tend to really really wish things were different than they are. I walk outside in the winter and think if only it were warmer. Or I wish the Bears defense would play better. Or I hold a long pose in yoga class and grit my teeth, wishing we could only straighten our legs! My mind grasps at what it would prefer, rather than accepting what actually is. That takes up a lot of energy, and, I'm sure you can already tell, brings down my mood.
If I'm convinced this moment isn't right, that it could be better, and wish it were over, I am focused on what I'm lacking. I feel cheated and angry that I don't have what I want right now, whether it's peace and quiet or warm sunshine. I deserve it, right? My thoughts create this atmosphere of negativity, and I end up feeling lousy. It's amazing how many times I find myself wallowing in these thoughts, though. I have been trying to recognize when this is happening, and it's pretty much all day long. Noticing the pattern, however, allows me to do something to alter it.
I have a choice, after all, about the direction my thoughts take me. I can push away the present, longing for something better, or I can accept this moment as it is. When I breathe into a challenge, I find resiliency, the ability to come through adversity unchanged. Once I let go of the tugging and grasping, I can let go of my anger and frustration. Every moment is perfect as it is. I want to spend less energy wishing for something different and more finding the beauty in the here and now. Patterns are often deeply ingrained, and this is one of my deepest. I know if I take it a moment at a time, I can make real change.