We have our will and our way which we seek to impose upon our life. And that is the source of all our problems. No will, no way, no impositions, no problems. Want to die young and happy? Discard your will, your way and your propensity to impose anything upon everything. Dying old and reasonably content requires a different approach. Have only preferences, and find ways of serving them without imposing your will and your way upon all that is in your way. This is the art of living. Caring just enough about the right things. Knowing when to say yes and when to say no. Letting your yes be yes and your no be no. Drawing lines. Walking away. Standing pat. Sitting tight. Waiting for the door to open and then walking through. Seeing what you look at. Hearing what you listen to. Knowing what's what and what needs to be done about it. Doing what you can do in the service of what needs to be done with the resources available to you, and letting that be that. Guided by your preferences and your original nature through all your decisions and choices. Walking two paths at the same time with one eye on each path at all times. Without judgment or opinion. With compassion and kindness. Moment to moment, situation by situation, day by day. Your whole life long. Like a stream on its way to the sea.
Our ideas spring from the silence or from the noise. Where are we most comfortable-- with the silence or with the noise? The silence requires us to take our contradictions into account. The noise glosses over contradictions, conflicts, complications, and complexity in seeking better now no matter what. Living well requires us to work with our contradictions, conflicts, complications and complexity in balancing, harmonizing, and stabilizing ourselves in relation to our life before increasing the volume and degree of the Big Four. That work requires silence. We have to work silence into every day. Sitting still, being quiet, taking stock, doing inventory, seeing what is happening, what is being called for and what needs to be done in response, day by day. I call this "Prayerfully considering our life and our place in it" at some point in each day. I understand prayer to be the reverent openness to what's what and what needs to be done about it. It is contemplation, consideration, reflection in the search for new realizations. We are praying when we stand still and listen. Not when we talk without hearing what we are saying. Prayer is where we explore our relationship with our life, with all aspects of our life, with what our life needs from us, is asking of us, and how we need to change to be who and what our life needs us to be. We always want our life to change in relation to us. We never want to change in relation to our life. And that is the kink in the hose.
Our place is to explore and express our original nature in finding our life and living it. Not to exploit our gifts/interests/ proclivities/genius/daemon (sounds like "diamond")/virtues/ character/spirit/etc. that came with us from the womb in the service of our ideas of success, gain and glory. Having our way and getting what we want still get us kicked out of the Garden of Eden. The way back to the Land of Promise is the way of filial devotion and liege loyalty to the work of exploring and expressing our original nature in finding the life that is ours to live and living it. Included in this work is seeing what's what and what needs to be done about it in doing the right thing in the right way at the right time moment by moment in each situation as it arises with the gifts, etc. of our original nature. This is well within the reach of every human being, and it far exceeds our grasp, as everyone who knows has known. Knowing what to do and doing it remain the task of every life throughout the time we have for living. Contemplation and awareness, Kid. Contemplation and awareness. Courage and determination, Kid. Courage and determination.
We put WAAAYYY!!! too much emphasis on what we want and don't want, and having our way. We cannot have our way and grow up. Growing up is bearing well the pain of not having our way, of not getting what we want. We grow up against our will. It has been that way throughout time. Theology is always at least two ages behind the truth. Evolution for example. Global warming for another example. The equality of women for another example. LGBTQEtc rights for another example... These things have been true forever. The Catholic Church and 10,000 Protestant churches haven't caught up. They don't want it to be true. Therefore they say it is not true. Yet, it is true. We grow up against our will every time. We have to lighten up on what we want and don't want. We have to stop judging things we want or don't want as good or bad based on whether we want them or not. No judging! No opinions! Try that for six months or so. Work in into your life. Back off on the wanting and not wanting. Practice growing up against your will. Start doing things you don't want to do as though you want to do them. Stop doing things you need to not want to do (Drinking, Smoking, Eating Hot Dogs) as though you don't want to do them. It will transform your life. Give you a new perspective. People will comment on how good you look, and ask you if you have been working out. No kidding. Trust me in this.