“One day at a time” is a common expression that people use to encourage oneself or others to get through difficult situations.
But I realize today, that trying to take on a whole day is a losing propostion.
Twenty-four hours is a long time, and so many things can occur within that period. Change is inevitable, and trying to control or master an entire day can only be a source of suffering.
How many times in your life have you started the day with a smile, thinking what a beautiful day it is and how grateful you are for everything. Then, in a flash, disaster strikes and you spiral into fear, depression or anxiety.
You had an expectation on this day. Your mind was attached to the idea (delusion) that this is a great day.
The higher we fly with our delusions, the farther and harder we seem to crash when reality happens. All things are impermanent (anicca). This is always reality!
So does this mean that we should be sad because things will not always be good or work out for us?
This is like the swinging of a pendulum, either way it swings is equally destructive to us.
Just allow the pendulum to stop swinging and come to rest in this moment. Exactly as it is.
Will this make you or I happy about difficult situations when they arise? Will we smile when a loved one is sick or dying? I highly doubt it.
But what you may find, is that with acceptance of this life as impermanent and unpredictable, you are able to reduce your suffering a great deal.
This is the whole purpose of our practice, to gain the wisdom to see things as they are and accept them without expectation or desire.
And do not try to do this one day at a time, but “one moment at a time”. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself some loving kindness and compassion.
Can you do it right now, just for this moment? Great!
Don’t worry about the next moment, it doesn’t even exist yet.
For right now, may you simply be well, happy and peaceful.