Life is What Gets in the Way of Living

frozen wave against sunlight

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on

Do you know that feeling when you can’t quite articulate what you’re feeling? Not even to yourself? And the harder you try the further you get from what it really is?

There is a Buddhist teaching that the harder you reach for something, the harder it is to see, and once you stop trying so hard to force it into focus the easier it becomes clear.

That’s an easy thing to think about, when you aren’t trying to make things happen. But that’s the point right there, isn’t it? It’s easy to believe when you don’t try so hard? That’s the point that is overlooked when the sensation of being overwhelmed kicks in, when you feel frustrated and lost. That it’s easier when we stop struggling quite so hard.

This week has felt like a test of sorts. Hot water stopped working last weekend, missed a day of work to see what the options were to get it working again, and then it was a week before it could be resolved. That’s a week of organizing trips to the folks for hot showers, a week of working extra hours to make up the missed time, a week of waiting and feeling let down.

During that week it felt like a struggle. Like an uphill battle, both ways, in the snow, and darn it I was lucky I had shoes! But now – after taking a hot shower in my own bathroom and feeling relaxed it becomes easy to put the week into perspective.

Life happens. That’s what gets in the way when we’re living. And it’s going to keep happening. I might have preferred extra time to work on my writing – but I made the choice to stay home and work extra hours later in the week. Life is a series of choices that create a path. What we do today will indeed identify what the next twists and turns will look like.

So the moral of the story? Quit struggling against the twists and turns and instead let yourself see from the perspective of life happens.

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