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wednesday wisdom: rules of living #1

12 Feb 2014

for the next 18 weeks (that’s from now until the middle of june!), i will be using the 18 rules of living by the dalai lama as my guide for the wisdom in these wednesday posts. i want to  tap into the amazing philosophy of the dalai lama and take a little time to think about each one of the rules, one at a time, letting it all really sink in. perhaps i’ll find a photo to go along with the rule for the week. or write a little anecdote from my life. who knows… i will just let the quote/rule inspire me.

i’m not going to do the 18 rules in the order that you always find them, but instead, i ‘m going to pick numbers out of a bowl or ask someone to choose a number to determine which rule to use that week.

ok.enough of the explanation. time to get on with this week’s quote:

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”

boy, that’s a tough one. i general get all flustered and upset when i don’t get what i want. do you?

like, today. the news across everywhere has been focused intensely and constantly on a snowstorm that is poised to hit the south. it is actually hitting some places already, but i’ve been looking out my window all day long,  waiting for the really heavy snow they say is coming to make it to me. i wanted it to snow so badly. i love the snow, and it is so frustrating to me when it doesn’t snow – especially when the news media has hyped us all up about an impending super snowstorm. (i know. first world problems).

but, i realized this afternoon that i was feeling a negative and icky. and i decided to make a change in my attitude. i mean, the snow is not anything that i can control, but i can control my reactions, right? so, i decided to focus on being inside. writing. being cozy. being thankful.

IMG_9038you’ve heard people say that something is a “blessing in disguise” i’m sure. it’s one of those saying that rubs me the wrong way. like someone saying, “it was meant to be” when something bad happens. for me, it’s just not comforting. it may, in fact, be a blessing in disguise, or a stroke of luck, when things don’t go our way, but in the moment it sure doesn’t feel that way. so don’t tell me to just get over it and see the bright side.

hopefully, thought, i am centered enough as a person, that i will feel disappointed/frustrated/pissed off/scared in the moment, and then i will remember to trust the universe and my soul. i will remember that all of the tough moments pass. that they are just moments, and that generally, there is something more amazing waiting for me that i could have never imagined. the tough times will not last. the disappointment will disappear. all i have to do is to breathe and stay centered, and then i will find the strength to keep moving forward, trusting, believing, hoping.

IMG_8905today i was reminded of the fact that last year my love and i planned to go to china for a 2 week vacation. we had our tickets, our hotel, and had even completed the visa process and had them in our passports. but, my love was very sick and we decided, to cancel our trip because it was too risky for her to travel. little did we know that 10 days later, while we would have been on our trip, my love ended up in the hospital. and she stayed there for basically 2 months.

were we disappointed? most definitely! it was a tough moment when we cancelled, and then also when the day rolled around that we would have boarded our plane to fly to asia – a place neither one of us had ever been. but, was it worth it? most definitely!

we couldn’t see it then. we didn’t understand it. it did not feel like luck or a blessing or anything positive to miss out on that trip. but, missing out on something we wanted so badly turned out to be a major defining moment for the beginning of my love’s recovery from anorexia. because we didn’t go, she survived. because we didn’t go, she got help that she really needed right at that moment. we didn’t see how bad it all was. we didn’t understand how everything was going to work out. but, looking back, it was such a great  thing (but difficult thing in the moment) that we stayed home.

IMG_9051 2so, the dalai lama has a point here. and it is a rule that i have actually learned over and over again in my life: a job i didn’t get led to something better. a marriage that ended that soon opened up more opportunities for me. waiting much longer to move to europe than i wanted  – i waited 13 years! – made life that much sweeter. and today, that silly little snowstorm that wasn’t materializing. and so much more…

so, here we are. living in our moments. experiencing heartbreak, disappointment, scary times, defeat, and pain. but, if we allow ourselves to just breathe, if we stay present and trust, then we will understand. because i firmly believe that there is always hope on the other side. that light dispels the darkness. and that after winter, there is always spring.

IMG_9006

wishing us all patience as we wait it out. one day, we will understand.

peace and love. xx

 

No Comments

  • Reply PaigeBrown 12 Feb 2014 at 19:42

    Absolutely amazing post! Is this #4? 🙂 If it is, this is perfect. I have literally been talking about this for the past 24 hours! I was talking to my mom about how heart-broken I was, from July until my trip, about that break-up. Now, all I can think about is how much my life would be different, and I’m so lucky that my life wasn’t what I was thinking it would be. If I had moved to Arkansas, I would never have gone on that road trip, I wouldn’t have met you guys, I wouldn’t be planning to live in Asheville! Holy cow! So, how lucky that something even better was out there!
    Whew, that was a long comment. Ha! Love you!

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2014 at 19:50

      omg, what an awesome comment this was! i loved it. and yes, this was #4, so that’s even more amazing that you chose that number and it was this rule that i wrote about. amazing! see how the universe works when we listen to our souls?! gaaahh. so. freaking. cool. so, the dalai lama was totally right. 🙂 love you too! xoxo

  • Reply carissalick 12 Feb 2014 at 20:44

    Beautiful post! It’s a powerful message, and you explained it so well. God/the Universe has such a mind-blowing way of turning bad things into good. 🙂

    • Reply liz 12 Feb 2014 at 20:47

      Oh, your comment just reminded me of something that I was thinking about while I was writing my post, but I completely forgot to mention it. I totally meant to talk some about transformation toward the end… I suppose it ended up being the way it should be, but your comment just sparked my memory on how the Divine transforms all for good. Thanks for your comment! xx

  • Reply MakingSpace 12 Feb 2014 at 22:17

    Bwaaaaaahhhh! (The good, sniffly kind)

    • Reply liz 13 Feb 2014 at 08:51

      You are too sweet!

  • Reply Meghan 13 Feb 2014 at 02:41

    This is such a good one to begin with because although I don’t know what the other 17 rules are, I do know that this lesson is both an everyday battle and a very long path towards true acceptance. As you said, we create unconscious expectations of so many things – as small as the weather – and we all get flustered when it doesn’t work out the way we anticipated. I used to constantly struggle with shifting realities even related to the smallest things and I still find myself tied to certain outcomes even though I try to stay present. As for the some of the larger things like you mentioned, it is a real challenge to remain aware enough to recognize that those moments will pass and that things will be okay; it’s so easy to get caught up in the emotion and in trying to change the outcome and also in feelings of just being overwhelmed. Your post today was an important reminder to me to maintain awareness in letting go of some of my expectations because many times as soon as I’m not centered, they can sneak back in to my thoughts and soon I find myself caught up all over again in something that I’ve already dealt with and, worse, is in the past and uncontrollable. This actually happened to me just earlier this week and went on for a couple hours before I recognized what I was doing. Like I said, ultimately I think this idea of letting go of what we want is a very long path because we place so many unconscious expectations in our daily lives but more so because in order to stop ourselves from setting ourselves up for disappointment we have to recognize that most of these expectations come from deep needs: need for security, for stability, for control, for inner peace, for what we think will make us happy, etc. Even after we recognize these needs, we then have to maintain awareness, and then work on accepting the reality and possibly looking for the positive. I’m not sure if I believe that “not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck” though I can say that looking back on my life that it has very much held true, but I do know that even if nothing good ever comes of the bad things, the disappointment, the tough times, and the challenges, they are a reality and that avoiding them by holding onto expectations will never help in the long run because it will prevent us from moving forward towards our own happiness. So thank you once again for reminding me to be aware and to accept and be patient; I suspect I will need to reference this lesson many times again in my future.
    P.S. I’m not replying to this post because you recently mentioned people weren’t commenting; it really just spoke to me.

  • Reply Holly 13 Feb 2014 at 09:10

    This rule, one of 18, wow – can’t wait to hear the rest!
    And the things not happening as we want it then – let’s be fair – that’s all about what “fate” , what’s meant to be will be, it’s all the same principle underneath isn’t it. Or as you say much more eloquently “trusting the universe”. A load a things I wanted to happen once, with such passion, didn’t materialise. A love I thought I was craving and passed, made room for the love I never knew even could exist. So much of these feelings, are everywhere when you really think about it.
    Also, I’m so glad you made complete peace and understood about your trip to China, that, as a free spirit is a hard change to go thru (it’s sounds so trivial to those who don’t adore being in a new place!) – I get you – but you know, like I always think now, when I wish I could still have 5 holidays a year, the cash to take them, and the ease to just book in annual leave with an employer (which I can’t do now!)Gem and I always just remember we’re the lucky ones, who have forever to travel together! Much love xx

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