Undesired Outcomes Happen Anyway
Better places to put our efforts
Understanding Reality, Giving up wishes for "non-reality"
Learn What Reality Is
A Few Of The Realities To Accept
Note: This is one of the big personal power factors as discussed in the Power section and the opposite is one of the greatest sources of needless suffering.
"If we saw reality, we would never be unhappy." The BuddhaKahuna
This means that if we looked at life and saw what was actually there from a viewpoint of "I started with nothing and now I have lots" we would experience happiness. Yet we make-up unrealistic expectations of what should be and consequently we experience "not enough", which has no basis "in reality." And then we feel bad and experience unhappiness. The latter is incredibly stupid on our part. It is best that we learn how the first is actually true and the latter is false - not as in "positive thinking", but as in "true reality." The payoff for doing so is huge! It will immensely alter the quality of your life!!!
"What we are unhappy about is what the story tells us, especially about what it means about us and/or the future. But it is only a story. Seeing through the story and "disappearing" it will create a "that's just what is so, now what?" viewpoint. And from there you can simply proceed to doing that which will get you more of what you want, from this point forward...and seeing what you already have, and that there is virtually nothing to worry about."
Having the perspective of The Mountain Of Haves...
Reality is only what actually exists in the (real) physical world, not in the imaginary world. The rest is all made up. Believing the madeups is one of the most ignorant, harming things we do to ourselves. And one of the greatest missed opportunities lies in not realizing that if we made them up in the first place, we can make up new ones that serve us better. (Notice that your first response to that statement was to think it was not true. Look at it more deeply and you'll see that it is a simple, inviolable truth. Yes, it could take some time and effort, since that is the way all things are created in the first place...)
ACCEPT REALITY OR RESIST IT? MAKING THE BETTER CHOICE
Attempting To Change And/or Resist Reality:
THE PAYOFF: 0 OR LESS.
Plus, there is often a cost incurred, which is something one adds, such as suffering!
“Spend time trying to disprove gravity and you’re likely to have a big problem besides having wasted your time. It would be better to accept it and then try to learn how to use other forces so that you can fly...”
"The only time you suffer is when you believe a thought that argues with reality. You are the cause of your own suffering - but only all of it. There is no suffering in the world; there's only an uninvestigated story that leads you to believe it. There is no suffering in the world that's real. Isn't that amazing!"
WHAT IS REALITY - AND WHAT IS IMAGINARY?
Reality: Fact, provable, objectively, verifiable, genuine, not imaginary
Imaginary: merely seeming, pretended, fictitious, nominal (in name only or ostensible)
If something is real it actually exists, objectively, it is observable, provable. If it is imaginary, it is simply constructed in the brain, just a "construct", not really in existence.
Thoughts are just thoughts.
UNDESIRED OUTCOMES HAPPEN ANYWAY
Again, the truth is that undesired outcomes will happen one way or the other, regardless of your best efforts. That is just part of life and there is nothing you can do about it, but accept it and not waste effort or emotions on it.
There are two keys needed here:
1. Accepting it rather than resisting it!
The effort freed up from resisting and/or trying to change reality would best be put into:
1. Learning how to better live life.
2. Developing abilities, especially decision making abilities, so you’ll know you can rely on yourself to land on your own feet like a cat. You have the ability to be happy no matter what.
3. Looking at reality and seeing that it all works out anyway, even if you goof. You’ll survive lots and lots of so-called threats.
4. Knowing that all that really matters is “who you become.” (Yes, this will take some time to reason through this, as we are still attached to other things that we think matter [from the childhood point of view] but really don’t. )
PEOPLE ARE AS PEOPLE ARE
We did not evolve to perfection nor even to near perfection, yet. Therefore, it makes no sense to expect that of oneself or another and to blame oneself or another for not being better, or more perfect.
People have gotten to where they are by going through life experiences and by gathering information from their parents, peers, partners, education, and the culture. They could know no more than they know, given the path they took. They simply do the best they can at the time given their level of awareness and knowledge - they can do no better.
So it makes sense to simply accept that and then decide what to do based on the reality and getting to what one wants, but with no make-wrong. Once one understands it, even compassion is easy. I recommend it!
UNDERSTANDING THE ALTERNATIVES AND MAKING THE CHOICE
There are two alternatives:
1. Accept reality as it is and do all you can to create your own life the way you
2. Resist reality as it is, spend time and effort fighting it, and spend less time
trying to create your own life as you want it.
In order to address either of these, the first thing you need to accept is that your life will turn out ok either way. You'll only die once, you will have "enough" (under the reasonable definition, not the American one!), and you'll be able to do some of the things you want to do, have some friends, and generally have life be ok.
If you resist reality, there is no payoff, for reality does not budge - it just is what's so, what's there, that's it, nothing less, nothing more. So it doesn't add anything to your life to try to control (change) it.
So, you lose a leg or a lover. Once they're lost, they are lost. Bemoaning it (a form of resistance), complaining about it, wishing it were otherwise, etc. - all no payoff, making no difference.
Again, we evoke the famous reality statement of W. Mitchell, burnt badly all over his body in one accident and then crippled in another, but virtually without missing a beat, as he said later: "Before I was paralyzed there were 10,000 things I could do. Now there are 9,000. I can either dwell on the 1,000 I’ve lost or focus on the 9,000 I have left."
Here, I need to say the obvious: That is your only choice. (Duh!)
And there is plenty to choose from among the 9,000. And we each are blessed with an incredible number of gifts with regard to our body and our world, as noted when one does the practices in The Gratitude Section. Shifting your viewpoint from what is missing (and therefore not manageable) to what exists (and therefore is to be appreciated and used) is your only logical choice. Write me if you come up with a more logical one. This is what is called a "truth" statement, for it is undeniable. Anyone can create something positive after stopping at a stop sign or after any event occurring, unfavorable or not - the point is that the thing has already occurred in time and now it is time to drive on or go on in life creating more of what is good and desired. The key, once someone has accepted this reality, is to learn the skills of Happiness, so that you'll have something from which you can meld into life to create the happiness you want.
UNDERSTANDING REALITY, GIVING UP WISHES FOR "NON-REALITY"
Logically, you must first know 'what reality is' before you can know 'what isn't reality'! (Duh!) So, we suggest you study that, using the resources and articles we've reviewed and written to save you lots of time - and ineffective efforts!
I agree with the buddha, suffering is caused by wishing life was different from the reality of life.
Basically, once you accept: "Oh, gee, it couldn't have been any different, so...", then you'll stop resisting reality and stop wishful thinking - and then you'll see what is still there and that there is much to have gratitude for. And then you'll understand that "loss" happens, but you'll see that what you've "lost" is like a small rubber dot on a basketball, there's still a whole basketball left with which to play the game. Barksdale has some excellent "grounding" and learning materials to help one understand what reality is. Read it fully.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I DO?
The most important is to learn the skills of happiness. Next is simply to notice what is the opposite of accepting reality - and then to stop doing them.
They are obvious, so I'll give you a starter list of "don'ts".
Wish otherwise (ok to create otherwise, as that is an action that is positive)
Be unhappy about "spilt milk"
Seek false assurances or miracle cures for life
Dwell on the loss (see Grieving and the viewpoints that are possible)
There is no better alternative than to accept reality, period. It is a "truth". Don't accept anything that shows resistance to reality.
Then just look at "What's so", say "So what? No big deal. It happened.", and then say "Now what?" - and move on and forward!
(There is no "deeper" to go. You don't need to study Buddhism for a century.
If you do have anything to contribute to this area please do email me [see contact page] and, if it is on point, I'll publish it and give you credit.)
LEARN WHAT REALITY IS
In almost all disciplines (philosophical or religious), it is recommended that you spend the time learning what reality is. And with that understanding, then you can learn to deal with reality.
Many people spend their time working on trying to deal with unreality, thinking that it is reality. In fact, ALL human beings repeat their beliefs so often that they begin to believe that they ARE reality! (Duh!) This conclusion seems so self-evident once someone really understands it, but not at all evident until one gets to a certain point of understanding - the point here is that you must do what it takes to get to that level of understanding - and when you do, the rest of the fabrications tend to break apart, though this needs some looking at a few of the key individual beliefs that support the other untrue ones. See the Beliefs section, particularly the Changing/Dealing With Beliefs subsection, though you should read the general Perspective/Discussion About Beliefs first, in most cases.
One thing for sure, is you should learn that your perceptions are NOT reality.
[Read Fact, "Truth", Reality, And Perception and Differentiating Between Truth and "Made-Ups".] All humans misperceive, as there is no way in hell that they could avoid not "misduplicating" reality. For this reason, people need to "check out" their perceptions. Of course, the obvious evidence of this is in people's reports right after they've seen the same thing...they virtually always differ, and that is just in what they've seen with their eyeballs. Can you imagine how much more murky things are in the non-objective, non-visually-seeable areas?!!! One of the basic key principles in life is to "know your perceptions are not reality" - and knowing that is one thing that helps open up one for the possibility that he/she should/might-best check out one's perception to see if it really meshes with reality. If one does not accept this, then the door is closed and change is severely inhibited. See the write-up Differentiating Between Truth and "Made-ups" to get clarity about this.
A FEW OF THE REALITIES TO ACCEPT
There is a price to life. The benefit far outweighs the cost, so we win anyway.
There is abundance of great things and depending on having "more" is the source of much suffering.
Things change and end. We lose things and people, alot deteriorates. That's ok, we still have lots.
We cannot control many outcomes. So we must just move on and accept.
Life is not always just. But on average it can be pretty darned good. Just accept what one cannot control or do anything about.
Physical pain is a part of life, though suffering need not be.
People can be disloyal, untrustworthy, unloving, and judgmental.
You are no longer a child and there is no "child within". See Child Persona.
SOME READING, though much of it is in the sections linked out of this section.
go of the so-called (but not actual) 'need' for approval and letting go of
the concept of loneliness...
Radical Acceptance - In her book of that title, Tara Brach asserts that almost all "threats" are not real and are childishly fabricated as a childish way of "protecting" oneself from the thought of "non-survival" once you "get" that, there is nothing left to accept.... We spend our time, energies and lives on trying to manage or stave of pain, which we needlessly created in the first place.
Daily Acceptance Meditation
I accept myself completely.
I accept my strengths and my weaknesses,
my gifts and my shortcomings,
my good points and my faults.
I accept myself completely as a human being.
I accept that I am here to learn and grow,
and I accept that I am learning and growing.
I accept the personality I've developed, and
I accept my power to heal and change.
I accept myself without condition or reservation.
I accept that the core of my being is goodness
and that my essence is love,
and I accept that I sometimes forget that.
I accept myself completely, and in this acceptance
I find an ever-deepening inner strength.
From this place of strength, I accept my life fully and
I open to the lessons it offers me today.
I accept that within my mind are both fear and love,
and I accept my power to choose what I will experience as real.
I recognize that I experience only the results of my own choices.
I accept the times that I choose fear
as part of my learning and healing process, and
I accept that I have the potential and power
in any moment to choose love instead.
I accept mistakes as a part of growth,
so I am always willing to forgive myself and
give myself another chance.
I accept that my life is the expression of my thought,
and I commit myself to aligning my thoughts
more and more each day with the Thought of Love.
I accept that I am an expression of this Love.
Love's hands and voice and heart on earth.
I accept my own life as a blessing and a gift.
My heart is open to receive, and I am deeply grateful.
May I always share the gifts that I receive
fully, freely, and with joy.
Additional notes, for possible integration into the above:
Accepting that you'll just be who you are and not living for approval:
“I’ve spent my whole life trying to be someone who I’m not. Now I’m ready to focus on accepting and enjoying who I am.”
Affirmation: "I will do my best to accept and understand myself and all around me."
"Acceptance of what is, coupled with understanding of what we can change and what we cannot, allows us to find the courage to be all that we can be, and to empower others in doing the same."