Do you have The-Grass-Is-Always-Greener-On-The-Other-Side-Syndrom, too?
When you ordered food in a restaurant, do you think, “Hm, I should have ordered what she had…”?
When you go out with friends, do you wish that you were at that party across town, that you’re missing right now?
When you look at your friend’s partner, do you wish your partner would be a little more like them?
I remember how we used to smile and roll our eyes at my grandmother whenever she put too much salt in the food or overcooked something. She would always say, “Oh, but I like it that way!” And we always thought she was too proud to admit a mistake.
What if all she did was just accepting things the way they were, without constantly wishing they were different, or beating herself up about mistakes she made?
Who’s happier – the person accepting things and moving on or the person hanging on to thoughts and questions like “Why do I always make the wrong choice? How come other people always get what I want?”
When we always focus on how things could be, we complete miss the present moment and don’t see how things are right now. And most of us know that in theory, but it’s so hard to do it in practice, isn’t it? Here’s a little experiment I tried recently:
For the rest of the day (or week!), whenever something doesn’t quite go as planned,
say to yourself,“Oh, but I like it that way! This is exactly what I want!”
…and just notice what difference this makes to the way you feel.
I tried this on a Saturday when some friends were out of town and I thought, hm, I might sit alone in front of the t.v. tonight. And then I said to myself, “And that is exactly what I want!” It immediately put a smile on my face, because it did feel quite silly… So I continued, while going grocery shopping and whatever thought came to my head, I confirmed with, “And that is exactly what I want!”
What happened…? I think it started with some ingredients I saw there in the supermarket, that made me want to bake a special cake I hadn’t done in ages. Once it was done, I needed people to eat it of course and made some phone calls. I ended up spending the whole weekend with more friends than ever on a “regular weekend”…
What we resist, persists.
Coincidence? Who knows. Does it really matter? My guess is that returning to the present moment puts us in a way more resourceful state than we are usually in. If it’s true that we have around 60,000 thoughts per day and most of them are the same ones we had yesterday – (and how many would be thoughts about how we wish things were different…?) – then it makes sense that returning to the present moment would interrupt that pattern and reset our thinking.
What we resist, persists. If we keep thinking how we don’t have what we want, and how other people have it, we keep proving this to ourselves and we keep seeing other people having what we want.
If we spend more time in the present moment, accepting things the way they are now, we do not succumb to our fate. On the contrary, we suddenly see opportunities because we just took our blind folds off (our filter – the loop of negative thoughts) and we become aware of all the resources that are really available to us.
Plus, another advantage of the above experiment is that we become way more attractive to others. Why? Because it really does feel silly in the beginning to confirm everything with, “Oh, but I like it that way. It’s exactly what I want!” and it puts a big grin on your face. Other people might think, “You look happy! What happened?” :)
Give it a try. See what will change!