One of the things that seems to throw everything off about this time is that it’s not what we expect.
It gives us what we don’t expect.
And it seems like one of the surest ways to be unhappy is to simply wish that things were different than what they are.
We just, you know, you open your eyes, you look around, and just think “I don’t want any of this to be what it is.
I want everything to be different.” Or at least certain things, “I really wish that they were different I wish, you know, that I didn’t have to remain cut off from all my activities that I’m used to doing, and seeing people the way that I am used to seeing them, going through my daily routines, and all the events that I was looking forward to that are not happening.
Maybe wanted to travel, and now I can’t travel.” All these things, I can just look at the present situation and think “I don’t have any of these things”, and that just makes me feel like reality sucks.
And it seems like this is one of those things where it’s purely in the mindset.
Because no matter what our situation is, it’s always possible to wish that it’s something different, and so it’s always possible to be unhappy with the present circumstances.
So this is something that applies in any situation all the time, but it seems like it’s especially brought to light now, because everybody is in a situation where we are restricted more than we’re used to, it seems.
And so we all have had to make some kind of a change, and we all have things that we would be doing if not for the present situation.
So it’s the classic response of dissatisfaction and unhappiness is to curse the present, curse this present, curse this situation, because the way things are is interfering with the way that I want things to be.
And it seems perfectly natural to do.
Of course, when you put it like that, it just seems like well, what’s the point? What’s the point of simply wishing that things were different? If there are things that we can actually change, something we can do, then it’s actually useful to wish that things were different, in a way that “OK, I can now make an adjustment in order to make this thing real, make my world become more like this.” That’s what wishing can be useful: it can form the idea of “Here’s an alternative vision of my life, and now I can take steps to move towards that.” But if we have the wish for the alternative life, wish for alternative circumstances, but have no way to actually bring that about, then we are simply down to regretting the way things are, and just feeling like this is somehow unfair.
You know, “Why do I have to deal with this? Why can’t things be the way that I want?” And I find it worthwhile to remember that this is a feeling and a mindset that we could have no matter how good the situation.
I mean, imagine some kind of dream scenario where you have almost everything you want, and yet you could still find some kind of problem with it, no matter how perfect things are.
You have your dream mansion, and you’re- however you imagine your dream home, with everything you want, and then you think “Oh, this is the wrong- I got the wrong type of flooring.
This flooring looks terrible.
Oh, this color is terrible on these walls.
Oh, I can’t believe-” Well, OK, maybe you could repaint and refloor then.
Let’s say “Oh, you know, I don’t like this location where my house is.
You know, it’s just not ideal, the way the house is facing.
I wish it was facing the other way.” You know, and then oh, the weather, you know, the weather’s not quite right.
Or even if everything physically perfect, it could be like “Oh, the people I’m with in this house.
You know, I wish we could make some change there.” Or even if everything, all the other people are right, it’s like “Oh, well, I’m not right.
Oh, I’m getting older.” You can’t get away from that.
Even if you have everything perfect in life, still going to get older and decline physically with age.
So it’s not to say that any of that is really a problem that we have to deal with, but it’s just that this can happen to any of us.
At any time, we can have the feeling of wishing things are different.
So now that so many of us are wishing that things were different, maybe this is a time to simply remember that things are the way they are, they always could be different, but only differences that we can make are of any use.
If it comes to wishing my circumstances were different, well, welcome to the world, welcome to the real world, and this is the way things are now.
Sometimes it seems like simply having an innocent childlike view can be so helpful.
Not that, you know, “Oh, you know, I know the way the world could be if it wasn’t for this thing, and I wish it was like that.” But instead like a childlike view, just be like “Oh, this is what the world is.
OK.” Well, here we are.
#thewayitis #wishitweredifferent #unhappy