With this site being titled Well – Happy – Peaceful, one might be easily mislead into thinking I am constantly in some state of bliss. But trust me, I have more than my fair share of bad days, just like everyone else in this World. Life is difficult, and we all truly have so little control over most things. Yet we still spend most of our lives thinking, ignorantly so, that we can control our bodies, thoughts, and even other people to one degree or another. This, I think, is really where we create the bad days that we observe in our lives. The delusion that “this” or “that” is “mine”.
A bad day is actually nothing more than an extremely powerful desire for circumstances to be different from what they are. Whether it is personal, financial, physical, friend or loved one, we make it ours. With this desire being so strong that it becomes easy to lose sight of everything good and wholesome in your life. Our focus becomes one-pointed, and it is squarely aimed at that which we find most uncomfortable. The roots of this suffering depend on our practice and confidence in the dhamma. The less wisdom we have gained from our practice, the more we will continue to delude and frustrate ourselves into thinking that we can control things that are beyond our control.
If you find, as I do often, that you suffer from this lack of wisdom and skillfulness, take heart. Mindfulness is an accrued benefit of daily practice. And if we are not kind and gentle with ourselves in understanding this, we only serve to create additional pain and suffering by being critical of ourselves. And I know from great personal experience that “I” am my own worst enemy in this regard. This sense of inadequacy takes flight as a reaction to the desire of wanting to change things. Helpless feelings that inspire despair, frustration, fear and self-loathing.
Can you see the fire beginning to burn my brightly in your mind?
Putting out the fires in your mind begins with gentle acceptance. And then understanding that this life is exactly as it should be, and that it is not yours to control. Nor is anyone else’s life yours to take charge-of or direct. Let go of the ridiculous idea that you are somehow the “fixer”.
And perhaps the next time you are having a bad day, or even the worst day, try taking a few deep long breaths. Then just ask yourself if it is really yours. Don’t add any stories, just be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if it is in your power to change or determine. And then, no matter how bad or uncomfortable this situation is, think about all the things that you have to be grateful for in this very moment. Think about your “best” days and understand that this is the ebb and flow of life. Without clinging to either the bad day or the good day, we can alleviate a great burden off of ourselves and just enjoy the present moment that we have right now. Once again, hopefully, we can both see it’s the only moment that we truly have.