In a nutshell: pain comes from the discord created by wishing things were different than they are.
This is a tough pill to swallow! (and I take a lot of medication --so I should know).
Pain can be avoided by accepting was is.
I feel like this concept is too big to fit in my head. I feel like I would need to spend every day of every year of the rest of my life trying to believe that this is the case in all things.
It doesn't mean you will feel peaceful and floating on air and smiling like you are on waaaaay too many "pams" (short for all the drugs often used for an acute anxiety attack---clonazepam, lorazapam, etc.) but it does mean you can avoid the pain that comes wishing things were different.
I do get it...I just don't LIKE it.
It makes me want to have an old fashioned tempter tantrum sometimes...but maybe I am getting better because I do see the wisdom of it and I have, much to my surprise, been truly able to apply it recently to a very significant area of pain in my life.
As mentioned in an earlier blog, I have been able to conquer the waiting in line situation so I don't feel like my head will explode when the one open cashier is doing 15 returns for someone who then buys them all again because they went on sale. The voice in my head that is normally SCREAMING: "I wish this line would move!", "I wish that woman would go faster!", "I wish I came her earlier!!" - is now more of a whisper I can "shush". Wishing things were different only creates discord. It is what it is. Accept it and see how it feels. Most times, it feels ok
And I practice applying this philosophy when my pain returns, when I realize I am worried about something or when things don't go as I had hoped. I am trying to measure my success in how quickly I can remind myself that life is exactly as it should be and rebound back into the present.
But there is one area I continue to struggle with --work.
At work I believe there are people who were promoted or hired into positions they are not qualified for. They neither have the required skill set, nor the ability to lead, mentor or coach. They are never held accountable and are oblivious to the workings of my department which means they arrive with gigantic plans on impossible times lines--- with nothing documented and no thought to how to accomplish the task, how they will measure the success, the budget impacts or staffing considerations. Many staff have quit as the situation has been too uncomfortable. I instead, decided to stuff all the anger inside and "pop some steam" every now and again at home or at work. I wished work was different than what it was---and eventually I burned up from the inside out.
Applying this philosophy should be easy:
I accept that those in charge do not have the knowledge yet to effectively execute on some of their job functions that affect my department.
I accept that I am not used to working with people like this and it will cause conflict.
I accept that work may be full of conflict for some time.
It took me 20 minutes to think about how to write those three lines above--and I am still not happy with the first one. This is my dark spiral where I can still clearly see myself.
I get it. But you see---I am still here (see video) when I think of work.
Now that being said, it doesn't mean that I have to accept the situation. Part of accepting is accepting that I am not ready to be accepting at work. I am not that person. I have to accept that I may never be.
So what do I do?
Lots of people find new jobs---many people from my work already have and from what I hear--none of them regret leaving--but each place they have gone has their own challenge. But for whatever reason--they are better able to accept the new challenges in a new environment.
I feel the tension in my chest work when I write about work and could easily spiral into a litany of how I feel about how things are but suffice it to say ---I still need to figure out what to do about work.
So when I said earlier.... I feel like I would need to spend every day of every year of the rest of my life trying to believe that this is the case in all things....I think that may be true.