“First rule of the Calvary: When the horse you are riding is killed, dismount. “ – John Cato
“First rule of Holes: When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.” - Chris Crolley
When we are unwilling or unable to accept a negative fact in our life that serves as an irritant to us, we still must address the irritation it causes. The alcoholic and the drug addict pursue continuing prescriptions or bottles to fend off the pain of withdrawal long after the addictive substance has ceased bringing pleasure. The abused spouse works harder after every tirade to regain approval that never was. The business owner in a dying industry skimps suppliers, cuts corners with the quality of product, slights his employees and compromises his principles. The list goes on, but all are chasing an illusion of what they think something was at some point in the past. If we are unwilling to part with a romantic notion of the past and realize that what we have carried forth is a fantasy, we will continue addressing symptoms of the problem even while it grows ever worse. We put forth ever more clever schemes to address our “problems,” but our efforts are by definition doomed. Our horse has died and we are still swinging the crop.
Expectations are a belief that something will happen in the future, and to these notions we pin hopes and dreams. Some are realistic (if I breathe in air I will get oxygen) some are not (if I prove my point, everyone will respect me.) None of us can see ourselves and our situation with a very detached view, so without trusted and wise people in our lives that will be honest with us it is easy to fall into these holes. It is acceptance that we need – because until we fully accept what “is” – the truth in our lives, we do not have a chance of obtaining the detachment necessary to get into a solution that addresses the actual problem. So, when we find ourselves in a frenzy of activity and nothing is going “our way,” it is time to realize that we are allowing our circumstances to define us, rather than being who we are and us accepting and defining our circumstances. It is time to realize that what we want things to be is not the same thing as what things are, and to look at what the core issue is that is causing all of the problems (symptoms) we are flailing about trying to resolve. It is one more important way that we can be true to ourselves.
Today, may I focus on acceptance rather than expectations.
Have a great Monday!!
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