How many times have you caught yourself ruminating over what could have happened rather than simply and PEACEFULLY accept what did. Oh, if only they did this, or if only that happened and then.....
You get the drift.
Often we are uncomfortable with what happens. We don't REALLY accept it. Deeply so sometimes. We resist on the subtlest of levels where we go over and over it in our heads. And in fact, this mind escapism into imagining what could have happened is mainly a mechanism to avoid FEELING the somewhat mild discomfort we feel around change especially if it is about something not going how we imagined or how we wanted.
Here's the thing: change happens and there really is nothing we can do to alter that. It is part of life.
Wellbeing is, in part, how well we can flow with change rather than resist. How can we let go of reacting to and instead accept what happens.
Here in the southern hemisphere the change of seasons is happening. We are moving into winter. The daylight is shorter before evening darkness comes. There is a mood of slowing down and cocooning. Mostly I imagine we don't resist. We know we cannot alter it. It happens. We don't resist.
But in other areas of our life, we find ourselves resistant to changes that happen. We want to have control of things, even though a part of us knows that just like the seasons we cannot do anything about changes that happen day in and day out. We actually don't have the control we imagine we have. What we do have is the ability to control how we react to changes that happen. Do we resist and react or do we accept and feel at peace?
We can start to shift our habitual reactions to changes and flow with what happens more easily. Like the pauses in the breath, we can take that PAUSE to be with the discomfort of change and simply be there, rather than in reaction. If you are present with the discomfort it begins to dissolve. You feel yourself breathing and the tightness softening.
Practices like Yin Yoga help us rest in the here and now, aware of our breathing, thoughts, sensations, sounds without needing to react or do anything about them. We let them come and go and anchor into that unchanging presence that is always there, noticing everything and disturbed by nothing.
Our resistance to what's happened is accompanied by an urge to do something about it so we don't have to feel the discomfort of it. This avoidance becomes a subtle manipulation of what's real; of what's really happened. The urge to escape the discomfort rather than be with it manipulates our relationship with life as it is. It pulls us out of the here and now, which after all, is all there is.
Going over what happened doesn't change what happened. It mainly creates suffering.
I remember a moment from my past. It's etched into my memory banks and for good reason. It was life showing me how to accept change and know you can't change what's already happened. Move on.
I had a new friend in NYC and his apartment burned down. He was moving in with me as my flatmate. We went back to his place to salvage what he could but the whole place was charred and not much was left. He took one look and said, well, that's that. And turned and walked out. As I followed I was so mind blown about how he so simply accepted what happened in an instant. He didn't need to hold on to what happened or try to manipulate it to feel more comfortable with it. It was and it happened. And no thoughts would alter that reality. He's become a lifelong friend.
NOTE: Now I must say I've witnessed people have a difficult time accepting change because they may potentially have trauma held in the body and they react to the feelings of discomfort and cannot easily be with uncomfortable bodily sensations. It's important to honour this, recognise it, and seek professional help if you find it too difficult on your own to be with the feelings of discomfort that often accompany change.
Being powerful is being the king or queen of your inner realm. We don't need to dominate outer situations to feel safe and comfortable. We change the inner realm from one of reacting into calm watching, trusting in the wisdom of life, and being with what is, with no need for it to be different.