Instant Gratification

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Kyle/Saint Simons Island 2017

I don’t know about you, but each day when I wake up, life contains some uncomfortable situations. There are people around me who have much more uncomfortable situations, and I see them every day, or at least read their posts on social media.

But to rate or judge a situation is useless isn’t it? If you are uncomfortable, if things are not to your liking or what you want, then it is uncomfortable.

I have a friend who walks on two prosthetic legs. I have several friends who have cancer. I have friends who are struggling to take care of elderly parents, friends who are in financial distress, and friends who are in relationship distress.

Maybe it is easier just to quit. To run away. To get drunk or high. News reports often tell me that the divorce and suicide rates are soaring rapidly.

And we all know about the opioid crisis and the overdose epidemic that has been happening for a while now.

We have been experiencing a pandemic, political and social divide, people are fighting and killing each other in the streets, and it pretty much feels like everything has, “gone to hell in a handbasket.”

But we cannot deal with the world. We cannot do much at all about all the things in the news, or all the ranting and yelling and fighting.

All we can really do is try to take care of ourselves and what is going on inside of us.

You see, I’d rather not say it, but often there are battles going on in my own mind and in my own heart. I wonder, “What should I do? When will this end? How will this end? Am I doing the right thing here or am I crazy?”

And it is much too easy to get caught up in other things. Things I cannot really do anything about. Things that aren’t here. You know… things on t.v. and the news, and social media.

Well all of that is unpleasant for sure. So then I redirect the attention back to myself and my own life and that is unpleasant too.

Because you know, I want things resolved now. I want answers now. I want to know how things are going to work out in the future.

But running away and quitting, for various options, are not options for me today. Going on a drinking binge is not an option. I’ve known plenty of people who have commited suicide, including family members, and though I do sometimes really want out of all this, that is the last thing I want to do to those around me.

So reign it in.

What does it look like now? What is uncomfortable for me? Is it possible that the same situation is uncomfortable for someone else too?

What can I do today? What can I do nothing about today?

And more importantly is the question, “What is mine to do?”

Truth be told, when I really zero in on myself and my life, it is pretty obvious that in many ways, I have it made. Oh yes I do.

Is it possible that I have gotten wrapped up in my problems to the point where they may seem a lot worse than they actually are?

We have talked a lot in previous blogs about, “Keeping it in today,” and, “staying in the now.”

You see, it is totally okay for me to want. To have long term goals. There is nothing wrong with that.

But I am having to learn to reduce those long term goals down into small bites.

An example would be if you want a college degree, you sort of should get your application in. Today.

There was a time when I would have just drowned myself in a bottle. I would have quit and dropped everything and all the people in my life. Because things are not happening the way I envisioned them to happen. Things are taking too long. Things are uncomfortable and painful.

Today I have learned that it is okay. It just is.

I can be uncomfortable. Things can be different than I would like. Things that I thought would happen don’t have to happen. People don’t have to respond to me the way I want them to.

I can do this because I truly have come to believe that the Universe is working things out. I am working things out. Things are evolving and flowing in ways that I could never ever imagine.

Why want and demand for particular things, when I know that there are things, people, and situations that I don’t even know about?

SO for me it is, “No sudden movements.” “Hold it steady for now.” “Try to be nice.” “Try to be helpful.” Focus on what is today. Focus on what I can do today. Let go my need for everything to be just the way I want.

Let it go.

And suddenly I don’t need that instant gratification quite so much. I don’t need to quit and run.

Everything is just fine just like it is.

 

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