Welcome to the middle path
- Jana Svoboda, LCSW
- Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Resolution #10: Accept reality as it is
We are problem solving people, and perhaps this results from what writer Joe Quirk calls the bitch gene in his book, "It's Not You, It's Biology." We go out, it's cold and dark, and we (or some ancestor, thank you) says hey, let's put some clothes on and make a fire. Thanks to our tendency to notice what's lacking in reality, we figure out ways to make it more tolerable.
But some things we can't change. And we spend lots of energy moaning about them.
Author Thom Rutledge says the mathematical formula for pain is the difference between expectation and performance (substitute outcome/reality). I've also heard it said that pain is inevitable, but suffering results when we add resistance to reality.
Today's assignment: try to notice when you are resisting an unpleasant reality. Make an easy one-- it's rainy and you wish it were sunny. You didn't make the light when it was green. Something little. Practice on these smaller annoyances and simply accept the facts as they present themselves. Here's the dorky formula-- dorky, but powerful. "I wish (x) and I accept (y)." "I wish it was sunny and I accept that it's raining." It's powerful because the energy we use to resist reality can be either put to rest or used to make modifications that make it easier to deal with.
Today's quote: "It is what it is."
As in whatever, dude.