I am going to get a tattoo. The following sentence will be tattooed on the delicate skin of my inner left arm:
You are always where you are supposed to be.
I have been pondering this thought a lot in the last few weeks. Whenever I remember it, I feel a surge of relief. Yes! I am here and however screwed the here may be, it is where I am, right now. Any attempt to change this happenstance would be futile -- and yet that is exactly what I find myself doing, more often than not.
I keep fighting against reality and nothing can be crazier than that.
I am a person who has never been entirely comfortable with where she finds herself in. I have always been burned by the desire to be somewhere else, to do something else, with someone else. There is a deep sense of longing in my heart.
With my new tattoo all this will change. My life will change. Whenever I get restless and experience the need to get ahead of any given situation, all I have to do is to read what is written on my arm and then I remember.
Ask any spiritual sage or Guru or William Shakespeare and they will tell you this: the cause of suffering is not the situation. It is the thoughts that we attach to the situation that make us suffer.
Sure, there are bad situations but even if you are in a cancer clinic waiting for your next dose of chemotherapy or at a divorce trial waiting for your marriage to end or at your dentist´s waiting room, waiting to get your root canal procedure to begin, you will fare much better if you accept where you are and don't resist it.
Here´s the thing: you don't need to accept the thing that happens but you´d better accept that it happens, even if it wrenched your guts, because what is happening, is happening and there is no way to make it unhappen once it has started happening.
Even crazier would be to try to change what has happened and yet that is what we keep constantly doing, by dwelling in the past and sinking into regret the way we do.
I need the tattoo because I know all this but keep forgetting. Indeed, the real challenge of spiritual life is not to learn. Learning is fairly easy. To remember what one has learned is, however, quite another thing. Our brain, the magnificently miraculous lump of wet matter in our heads is lazy. It holds on to old habits like its life depended on it and resists learning anything new.
No surprise, then, that the last word of Buddha was: remember.
Making peace with what is, is such a game changer in life, because it is about surrendering and surrendering is very powerful. It is like giving your car keys to someone else and relaxing on the back seat, trusting that you will get where you are going without having to worry about the traffic or taking the wrong route or running out of gasoline. When you sit on the back seat, preferably with your eyes closed, your brain gets some much-needed rest.
Sometimes it is enough to just be.
Surrendering is closely related to giving up and as the old saying goes, you get what you give up. When you give up the hope of getting pregnant, you get pregnant. When you give up the hope of finding a partner with a brain on a dating website, you do. When you give up the hope of ever getting out of the mess you have gotten yourself into, the mess starts dissolving as by magic.
Hopelessness, then, seems to be the thing to aspire. How awesome is that!
I am sitting here at my dinner table, with my MacBook, sipping my morning coffee, knowing that this is where I am supposed to be. Now.
After I switched to decaf, by the way, staying in the Now has become a lot easier. In the absence of the caffeine high, I feel more like the quiet, calm observer that I believe I truly am, instead of the crazy Duracell bunny I used to be when I still drank ordinary coffee. True, I also feel sleepy in the mornings and cannot get through the day without taking a nap, but I am sure that is quite okay for a woman of my age.
Getting into the state of allowance takes some effort and staying there takes even more effort. One needs to be constantly reminded of what one needs to remember. Hence the tattoo. But I am sure a post-it on the wall, right above the computer screen, could work as a reminder, too.
For things are always where they are supposed to be.