It’s nice to have some simple things you can do and tell yourself to help you have peace when things go south. As soon as something bad happens, a great way to make sure you’re accepting life rather than resisting it is to tell yourself right away, “This has happened.” That simple statement snaps us out of our heads, as we’re telling the typical story about why this is bad, and into the present moment where we can put our energy towards dealing with the situation.
As soon as something happens that we don’t like, most of us instantly react by wasting some of our energy resisting it. This makes us feel worse, which then makes us less equipped to handle it. And it’s all self-inflicted! It’s only a habit, though. It would be nice if we learned about these habits as children, but our society for the most part isn’t there yet. And that’s fine – let’s make sure to learn about it now, though.
If the same bad thing happens and you catch yourself resisting it and immediately shut that voice off in favor of “This has happened,” you’re in a totally different place. You’re awake instead of asleep. You’re saying yes instead of no. This doesn’t mean, “Yes, I really wanted to get fired from my job!!” Rather, it means, “Yes – I did get fired from my job. Instead of freaking out, what am I going to do? What’s the next step?” Those two mindsets are radically different, especially when you string them out over time as you deal with all of the challenges in your life. All of those no’s add up to lots of stress and other nasty stuff that you’re holding onto. There’s a better way, and it starts with a simple, “Yes, this has happened.”
“This has happened.” It seems simple, but it really does work. It’s so helpful to have simple, tangible tools and techniques at our disposal. Don’t waste your time and energy resisting what has happened. Why? Because it’s already happened! Let me know when the time machine has been invented, and we can reassess. Right now, though, there’s no time machine. This has happened. And if/when you catch yourself resisting what has already happened, just laugh! And stop doing it. And definitely don’t beat yourself up, because you can’t let go of something if you don’t know you’re holding it. So it’s a good thing to notice this (or any other bad habits of mind). Noticing is the first step. After that, all it takes is practice. As always, let me know if I can help!