Four Ways to Be At Peace When Stuff Happens

I was getting very frustrated about how long it was taking for my laptop to boot up after I turn it on.   At my wits end, I “Googled” how to speed it up.  I found a suggestion to “adjust start-up settings”.  I found the window and randomly selected a different setting.   After my laptop shut down and restarted – there was no way I could access any programs or files. I was completely locked out!  I then had an urge to ‘punish’ my computer, rather like how cowboys in old westerns dealt with confrontation and disagreements – they simply punched the other guy out. And so I came up with four ways to be at peace when stuff happens.

I did resist the urge to smash my device and had a little epiphany.  My laptop works according to the programs and settings installed in the system, it has no inherent capacity to deliberately tick me off (maybe the manufacturers do).  As it turns out things, people or situations aren’t set up to annoy or upset me either.   People, especially, operate according to the programs including beliefs, attitudes and perspectives installed in them, typically at an early age.

Continue reading for four ways to be at peace when stuff happens:

  1. Acknowledge that People Are Doing Their Best
    Brené Brown, author of several books including Daring Greatly, studies aspects of human behaviour and emotions.  She not only conducts clinical trials but also takes her inquiry into the streets.   She posed the question to herself and others “Are people doing their best?”   She put the question to her husband, who, after some deliberation came back to her with “I don’t know if people are always doing their best, but I feel happier when I think they are”.   
  2. Accept It Is the Way It Is. Period
    How many times have you heard yourself or someone else say “it shouldn’t be this way”, “it should never have happened” or “I wish it was different”.   Denying, dismissing or disparaging “what is” is a sure-fire way to elicit irritation, frustration, anger or urge for revenge.   Philosophers and mystics have been telling us for centuries that there is a higher order of intelligence and that maybe, just maybe, that experience was designed as a catalyst for your higher awareness and personal growth.
  3. Understand That We Are Designed To Handle Upsets and Setbacks
    While failures, let-downs and disappointments illicit distressing emotions, we are more than capable of ‘weathering the storm’.   Every disturbing thought, experience and event is temporary.   In no time at all, things change and transition into more pleasant circumstances.  In fact, when you look at what’s good in your life, it is often a result of a situation that may have seemed ‘bad’ at some point.  Our minds naturally return to equilibrium and peace when we are willing to let things go and focus on the present.
  4. Hindsight Is Achieved Through Oversight Not Foresight
    How often have you said to yourself or to others about yourself – “I should have known …… better, it would happen, she/he would have reacted that way”.    This is a form of magical thinking. If you had known, you would have taken whatever it was into consideration.  You can become very good at bullying and beating yourself up when you insist that you should have had greater understanding and wherewithal, when you did not.  Refer back to #1 – “I was doing my best with what I knew and understood at the time”.

Let’s Summarize

It’s so tempting to believe all those random self-depreciating, other-blaming thoughts that roll through our minds.  Just because you have a certain idea or issue does not mean you need to pay it any heed, give it any energy or act on it.    Being peace is recognizing that thoughts and experiences come and go like clouds and birds in the sky.  The sky remains at peace regardless if the clouds are rumbling or birds squawking.   It is not fundamentally tainted or altered by the comings and goings and neither are we.

Read more about emotions in another blog post by Marlene Cameron: https://marlenecameron.com/are-your-emotions-running-your-life/

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