Monday’s Meditation: On Why We Should All Stop Wallowing
Why is it that we are so indescribably good at zeroing in on the one thing in our lives that happens to be going wrong, no matter how many others are going well?
Like how it never matters how many pores on your face are cooperating at any given moment; the second one starts acting up it’s the only we can see?
I suppose it makes sense if you consider the fact that the area going wrong probably requires attention. It probably involves action and decisions.
But life is really more like a giant game of whack-a-mole–in the best sense–than we ever give it credit for being. That there’s a game to be played is the entire premise. That issues continuously pop up is the way we know whether we’re still playing. They are the catalyst for action. They are what we need to learn and grow. The point is to have fun either way.
If our happiness is contingent upon there being nothing to be unhappy about, we will literally never be fully happy. Because even if everything in our own lives was going well, there would be challenges in the lives of our loved ones to spurn our happiness. And even if everything was going swimmingly for us and our friends and our family, there would still be starving children and rape and North Korea.
There are always things to be unhappy about. And there are always more things to be happy about. If we decide to see it that way.
The next time you’re ruminating over one source of negativity in your life in a non-constructive, non-situation-correcting way, pause for a moment and do the following exercise:
Picture your life as a pro and con list. Go ahead and mentally list the current source of your angst under Con. And then list out a few specific Pros. It will only take your listing a handful before you throw in the towel. Not for lack of items to add, but at the reminder that you could go on forever. Your life is pages and pages of magnificent Pros, while your Con side tallies insignificantly out to one or two.
The choice is yours. It’s up to you whether to deduce that based on the ratio, your life is so much more good than bad, and that whatever is bringing you down deserves its proportional attention. Or you can live in delusion, deciding that one somehow mystically balances out infinity.
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