Thursday, July 30, 2015

3 important reminders when obsessing over what you want

Expect the Un-expected

Have you ever wanted something so bad, worked hard at it relentlessly and yet not got it? Have you given unconditional love hoping so much it would be reciprocated? And it wasn’t. Have you given it all you have, from the very core of your being and still faced failure? After failure. Have you cried hot silent tears? In the bathroom. On your pillow. When bowed in prayer. Have you wailed uncontrollably when the grieving was overwhelming? Or felt a void. A gaping wound which bleeds each and every time a candid remark erodes its scarred surface. Until you fear to hope, lest it’s just an insidious hoax. Unable to hold it together you struggle with drowning in your vulnerable thoughts of helplessness.

If you answered yes to any of the above, then this one’s for you. But first, here’s a hug and a coffee. Now let’s talk.

1. Hope and Faith. They go hand in hand and yet have very different roles to play when dealing with fulfillment of desires. Hope is an expectancy of materializing things the way you envision them; faith is the fuel to that belief. Hope comes with a picture whereas faith has no shape or picture of things to be. It just keeps you safely grounded in the knowing that, it will be. The best for you will come forth.

Learn from Faith then. When you are attached to an outcome, you hope things will happen at a certain time in a certain way – it is your expectation of how things should happen that makes you think that things are not working out. Expectations color your perception of things. You don’t really see how things are unfolding when you want them to happen a certain way. This prevents you from recognizing the good that comes your way and causes you to push it away. As it just does not fit with the way you imagine it. Without preconceived ideas to limit your perception, you are able to accept what comes your way as part of the solution to realizing what you truly desire in life.

In future if you lose hope, remember to keep the faith. It will re-ignite your courage in time and allow you to bounce back. 

2. Start taking one day at a time. Live in the present. Your deepest longings forever push you to look ahead, mentally entrapping you in the future. Like a chess player you’re always thinking 8 moves out –what should I do, what if that doesn’t work out, what’s next. You create much of your own suffering by getting caught in an endless cycle of pining and attachment. You are living a conditional life; you cannot be free in the present moment. You cannot be happy with a beautiful sunset or with a moment of warmth between you and another; instead, every experience is interpreted in the context of how much better it would be in an expected future.  

Instead keep it simple. Breathe. If you’re feeling overwhelmed because you want something too much, then do something else to distract yourself. Get involved in other things that are also important to you. Things that come 2nd and 3rd on your list of wants. What can I have right now? What can I do right now? Stay in the moment, see your decision right now as the best decision you can make in the moment. What happens next – how it turns out– doesn’t matter. Focus on right here. Right now. 

3. Detach. ‘You only lose what you cling to,’ says Buddha. Break free, let loose that which you desire the most. There’s a story about a monkey who comes across a trap in the forest. He can see a coconut inside. He’s hungry and so he puts his hand through a small hole to get at it. He grips onto the coconut, which he really wants to eat, but while he’s holding the coconut he can’t pull his hand free. If he only opened his hand again, he could escape, but clinging to what he wants keeps him trapped.  

We can only be deeply affected by loss when we are clinging on too tightly to something. Mind you, I’m not saying to stop wanting things. Just stop clinging to them. Clinging is holding on to something too tightly.  

When you find yourself obsessing about a desire, ask yourself. Why is it so important? What are you afraid might happen if you don’t get it? Would it really be the end of the world? 

For when you really think about it; have you ever lost out on something or someone only to be redirected to something better? Have new windows of opportunity opened just when you stopped knocking on the old closed doors. Are you eternally grateful to have something not work out for you as you had planned only because what you received instead was so much better?  

God is able to do above and beyond all that you can ask and even think of. Surrender; know that good things will come to you when the time and place is right. You will get what you need, just may not be the exact way you want it. In that sense, expect the unexpected. 

And Thank God for that. For He knows best.

Contact Tasneem Kagalwalla to seek support and overcome personal and professional blocks and barriers.

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