When shit happens
You can spend your life trying your best to be a healthy person. You can eat right, only organic products, work out, take supplements, have a healthy weight, and drink plenty of water. At night you get 8 hours of sleep. You daily drink eight glasses of water, stay away from sugar and processed foods. You do not smoke, don’t do drugs, and drink alcohol responsibly.
You faithfully follow the doctor’s orders and never miss your yearly annual medical check-ups. You ensure you stay away from harmful chemicals, use products to clean your home free from toxins, and do daily brain exercises. You do your best, and still shit happens to you.
In our culture, we have created the false expectation that we are somehow safeguarded from illness or disease if we all do all these things. We have believed all these theories and followed them to protect from something that it cannot eradicate, pain.
Similarly, we tend to apply these principles to our relationships, work, finances, and others’ expectations. We keep immersing ourselves in knowledge, information, data, and statistics, hoping that we will be able to control our future and predict the future of others.
We spend time, money, and effort to ensure we do the best and expect that the ones around us will follow our lead. Then suddenly, shit happens. It happens, and you find yourself deceived, shocked, angry, and do not know where to turn. Your spouse, employer, doctor, neighbor, son, priest, parent, and government messed up your plans.
You have spent all your life trying to protect yourself from all these things; you felt you had a plan to stay safe. And now things have gone against your wishes, and you are stuck in disappointment and feel lost. You ask yourself if it was a mistake you made in your plan for a life of ease and health? There has to be someone that you can blame for this. You do not deserve this shit. You have done your part, and everything should be going your way, but it’s not.
Your plan was flawed. You can create the ideal conditions for a plant to grow, and it may never sprout. You can put the seed in a healthy environment, use the best soil available, give the recommended amount of clean water with the organic plant food. You can place it where it gets the instructed hours of sunshine and shade to bloom, and it might still not germinate. You can protect it with a fence, wire, and cloth from the elements and predators, and it can still not rise over the ground.
In Life, we can’t be sure that our efforts are always to pay off. You can do all the things that are considered the best practices for your health, work, relationships, finances, and home security, and that doesn’t mean you are free from a painful blow.
The world is always changing, and your Life follows that evolution. You must evolve and change as situations develop. The more we fix our minds on specified and rigid results based on our wants, the more likely we will be disappointed. Setting your view as the only view that the universe will follow will keep you in an ongoing state of fear and worry. This kind of rigid mindset won’t let your life flow and evolve because you will be working against nature.
What to do when shit happens
No one can control the future; it is time that we let go of that ridiculous belief. We do have the power to control how we react to how our Life evolves.
Right now, if you feel shit happened to you, take three slow breaths. We are slowly breathing in, feeling the breath coming in your nostrils, and slowly release a sigh through your mouth. Repeat this for three breaths.
Center your thoughts
Then move to repeat the following: This is Life. This is my breath, and this is my mind. Slowly and mindfully repeat these sentences three times.
Welcome the shit
Then repeat the following: I accept my Life the way it is at this moment. I am happy with whatever it gives me. I am grateful for everything. Repeat these sentences three times.
If you find it difficult to relate these sentences, it doesn’t matter. You do not have to agree with the message from these words, either. You could even feel that you do not want to repeat them, still do it.
Open up and chose your reaction
Repeating these words will set your mind, body, and breath to accept what you are resisting in your Life. It will allow you to welcome the unwelcome. You cannot change what has happened; you can only work with your reaction.
Your reaction to any shitty event is to realize that even if it feels like Life sucks for you today, your mind needs to stop resisting the event. If you allow the event and accept that you are in pain, you will let go of the mental and physical suffering.
No one told me ever in my Life to welcome pain. To open up to fear, discomfort, an unpleasant situation is new to you; it also for me. We all set our protections when we feel that a blow is coming; it is an inner instinct.
If you feel a slap coming to your face, you protect yourself and close your eyes without thinking about it. Your brain reacts with a survival protecting action to safeguard you. Once Life gives you a blow, you can’t go back in time to change it. It is up to you how you react after what happens. Your emotional, mental, and physical are the only thing you can control.
An ancient teaching
There is this Zen teaching that states that in Life, we have no ownership. In our Life, we do not own anything, as anything can be taken away from us anytime without asking. Think of the things you consider your possessions, objects, people, work, health, and wealth as things you temporarily take care of.
I have incorporated this teaching to help me cope with difficult times. I use it as a mindfulness practice to help me detach from things, situations, and people. Whenever I feel that I’m resisting a problem, I remind myself of this belief.” I’m only taking care of this temporarily; I have no ownership. “
“It’s not the shit we face that defines us, it’s how we deal with it.”Ahmed Mostafa
What shit do you need to let go of?