Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Frustration into Acceptance


Things just haven't been going "my way" for the last week or so. My entire downstairs flooded from a backed up water softener drain, my vehicle more-or-less broke down, the water heater broke, and I seem to spend 90% of my "free time" doing things that just get undone again (dishes and laundry, for example). Additionally, if there had been a test as to how well I handled all of these unexpected happenings, I would certainly garner a giant, red, circled "F."

It's interesting how we think that we know how our days should pan out, as if we really had any idea what is "good" for us (and the universe) and what is "bad." Or that we have any control at all really. And yet we get frustrated because its not going "the way I planned."

Step back for a moment, breathe, and I soon find out...

That the flood in the house means that for our meager deductible, we get all new downstairs flooring (which needed replaced badly anyway).

That having a broken this-or-that allows Amy and I to connect with family and other people who help us get things repaired.

That doing routine daily tasks (that seem to get immediately undone again) teaches a valuable lesson about impermanence and also helps me understand that its not WHAT I'm doing but HOW I'm doing it that's important.

As the old Yiddish proverb says, "You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails." I've found we're quick to judge what's "good" and what's "bad," when at a deeper level all is good and right, all the time.

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won't all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good
[John Mayer, "Heart of Life"]

4 comments:

Amy Harden said...

A double amen.
1 for your poor attitude about the chaos and 1 for realizing that it's all OK in the end.

If you let our shit back you into a corner, it's always going to be shit. If you can look past the crap and see the positives (new flooring, meeting really great people... even the musclehead guy) it's really not so bad. So what- if I took a shower with a pitcher of boiled on the stove water. So what- if the laundry keeps piling up... we are blessed to have laundry facilities in our home AT ALL.

Life is still pretty awesome. Even when problems arise.

Becca said...

Sometimes even when I know there's good behind the shit, I just want to wallow.

Kudos to you for acknowledging the good stuff!

My pastor calls it the Manure Management Plan -- you have to have a way to compost the shit and get all the nutrients out of it, instead of letting it just sit there and accumulate:)

isaiah said...

Good for you guy accepting and owning your feelings that aren't OK, but really are anyway.... AND, new floors, new encounters and new realizations. What lessons a little (OK, a lota) water brings.

Life is awesome.

becca, "Manure Management Plan"- I love it! Ha! Good one.

It's all good.

John said...

You are learning wisdom and detachment which is always valuable. I hope that I am handling events properly that seem significant in the moment, but are really empty and insignificant when looked at a higher level of detachment. Sometimes, I doubt it.