Opening into possibility
The single biggest way I know to rob myself of peace and satisfaction is to compare the ACTUAL reality I’m living in, with how I tell myself it “SHOULD” be.
There are many ways in which the way we think can separate us from being present and loving towards ourselves.
Stubbornly holding images and stories of what “SHOULD” be happening is one of them.
It may seem odd for a guy who talks about “creating your own reality” to caution you about holding idealistic pictures in mind; but the truth IS, that harshly comparing your current reality to a fictional ideal is harming you in the here and now.
So if the essence of spiritual practice is to “embrace what IS” and the key to personal development is to “focus on what you want” how can we possibly reconcile the two?
My take: It’s all in the emotional position we adopt.
When Michelangelo was chiseling his famous ‘David’ statue out of a single hunk of marble it’s unlikely that he was resentfully thinking:
“Damn it! This fucking block of stone IS SUPPOSED TO look like a bloke”.
It seems more likely to me, that he would have been in a deeply inspired state, gazing at the marble and ALLOWING the famous masculine form to manifest gradually and patiently.
Self-actualization is the ART of manifesting your truest, fullest expression of your Self.
Such a profound process cannot emerge from a denial of what IS, or from an attitude of negation or self-recrimination.
When we choose to love what IS it becomes very easy to transfigure the present into the future (which is really just more of the present) in a form that we choose (or at least influence).
That which we resist, persists. (It’s true because it rhymes).
That which we love and appreciate grows more beautiful.
There is nothing you “SHOULD” do.
There is only an ever-increasing alignment with your highest truth and desire.
Like all art, it’s simultaneously the easiest and most difficult work we can ever do.