Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Joy Comes in the Morning (If We Let It!)

each morning, part of my morning time of prayer and meditation includes a phrase reminding me that suffering can come from craving a perfect future that will never be.  i've always been one to plan each day with the intention of accomplishing tasks, of realizing certain outcomes.  when life interferes with those plans, i can become irritable.  this frustration with life is something i've been making an effort to change, and i've been pretty successful--but monday i had a relapse!

monday happened, as it often does.  by late morning, i had not gotten away from home to begin the tasks i had planned for the day, and interruptions in getting on with the day continued to pile up.  by the time i left to "begin my day," i had many errands to run, and when i finally got to the desk work i intended to do at the church music office, i was angry with life.  needless to say, little was accomplished, and in the stories i was telling myself, my day was a flop.

on the way home, i decided that instead of running the one remaining errand, i would come home and sit down to write.  as i wrote the story of my "failed" day, the anger disappeared, and i realized that my day was unsuccessful, not because it didn't go as planned, but because i kept telling myself that in order for it to be successful it had to go as planned.

had i "gone with the flow" of the day from the start and simply allowed the day to happen the way it needed to happen instead of trying to force it into the mold i had created in my mind, an idea of a "perfect" monday, how much more i would have accomplished.  maybe what i accomplished wouldn't have been what i intended to accomplish, but the day up to this point would have been far more rewarding and much less stressful.

so, today was another of those learning experiences, and i'm grateful now that it didn't go as i intended.  i've been reminded that the suffering i experienced was self-inflicted and needless, and i've forgiven myself for not being mindful of what was happening.  the rest of the day will go better, because i have no expectations of what it will bring--it will happen as it needs to happen.

my prayer for myself and for others who may have difficulty because we crave an ideal and unattainable future is that we will learn to let go of the need to control our futures and allow life to unfold as it was intended.  may we rejoice in what life offers and stop demanding that life give us what we think we must have.  shalom.

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