I’m struggling with being present in this moment because something happened today to upset me. More accurately, something didn’t happen. And this thing didn’t happen or not happen for the specific purpose of upsetting me. It just happened. Or didn’t happen. What didn’t happen was a phone call I was expecting. The caller would have said, “You’ve been accepted into the Master’s program of college.” But this didn’t happen. I was told that if this call didn’t happen today (Friday), I would get another call on Monday telling me I was not accepted.
Of course, it’s possible that what I was told would happen won’t happen. It’s possible that things happened on the their end that prevented things from happening on my end the way I was hoping. It’s possible I will get a call on Monday telling me I’ve been accepted. Or it’s possible that I won’t. Anything is possible. I can’t control events. I can’t control other people. I can’t control what’s happening. And I don’t want to. The only things I can control, that I want to control, are my attitudes and my actions.
Attitudes and actions are equally important and they go together. Changing one usually changes the other, but there’s no recipe. Sometimes I have to change my attitude first and this causes me to take right actions. Other times I have to change my actions first and this creates a better attitude.
Ways I change my attitude are:
· Have a different perspective.
· Get new information.
· Read something inspirational.
· Practice gratitude.
· Focus on this very moment without reliving the past or imagining a future.
· Practice the presence of God.
· Surrender my need to be right or have things go my way.
There are probably other ways, but those have all worked and still work for me.
I can also take action and, as the word implies, these are usually physical. Some examples are:
· Walking away from something that’s bothering me.
· Doing some physical work. (Cleaning or organizing has often done wonders.)
· Helping someone else with his or her problems.
· Getting something to eat.
· Drinking water.
· Taking a nap.
· Making a physical connection with someone.
· Changing the situation if I can.
All of these have also worked, though not all at the same time, and some more than others.
The point is that we don’t always have to suffer. Problems are a part of life. Maybe even suffering is a part of life…but only a part, not all the time, and probably not as much as we allow it. We can Get Started and Keep Going towards the life we want…no matter what’s happening.