The simple yet profound observation above by Byron Katie truly changed my life. When I first heard that statement, its truth hit me like a bolt of lightning. When you think about it, we humans spend a lot of time, A LOT OF TIME, arguing with reality.
Buddhist philosophy says that all suffering is caused by desire or "craving." To me, this is incomplete. I think the cause of human suffering is the desire for reality to be different. To put it another way, not accepting reality for what it is leads to suffering. But, as Katie would point out, only 100% of the time.
What exactly is this reality that we are arguing with? I believe that the reality that I see in this very moment is really just the residue of the past. The present moment, "now," marches onward relentlessly. Reality cannot exist in the future and the present moment never stands stills. So what we call reality is really only the lingering remnants of that ever-moving now in the past.
I sense your doubt, so let me give you an example:
Your spouse or partner cheats on you. Reality says "he or she cheated on me." You did not want that to happen, so you feel hurt, angry, and upset. Note, that this is still in the past. It is a past event. I am angry now, but the reality of the cheating is the residue of the past event. My suffering in the moment is caused by my belief that it should NOT have happened. He or she should NOT have done that to me. He or she hurt me. However, if I could accept that it happened, that it is past, and there is no way to change it, I could end my suffering. Only I can end my suffering, because my partner cannot undo the act.
Any time, you feel upset, angry, hurt, betrayed, let down, mad, or frustrated, it is always about something that took place in the past. It is reality, because it happened. Furthermore, maybe you feel justified in your belief that it should no have happened. However, in the end, the past cannot be changed, so why bring suffering into your now by arguing that it should not have occured.
Finally, it is important to note that I am not saying that you have to continue a relationship with someone who does things that you do not like. If fidelity is important to you, then you can choose to end the relationship (or continue it). What ever you decision is, you need not make yourself suffer by believing that "it should not have happened." This is especially true with any kind of physical or emotional abuse. Accept that it happened and then move yourself to safety.
Accept, allow, embrace, love
My name is Mark Andres and I am a Transformation Coach with The New You Holistic Coaching. I help people have more energy and feel healthier without radical dieting or deprivation. I designed my transformation programs to give lasting results through a fun and easy process that focuses on habit and behavior change.