Life. It can be hard sometimes. It can be demanding. People are always expecting things of you. Expecting you to do things and make particular decisions. Sometimes it can feel like it’s just all too much – you can’t seem to cope with it all or come up with answers on what decisions to make.
But a little clarity in what life is actually demanding of you can go a long way to helping you to feel better about your day. You see, life never demands anything of you that you will not accomplish. Life is governed by action and reaction, and as such whatever it demands of you, it will cause you to do. Whatever you end up doing, or whatever decision you end up making, that WILL be the decision you were always going to make due to all the causal factors involved in your decision making process. And so there is no reason to ever think you are not living up to the demands of life.
Of course, few people understand that in society, and so your mind will often end up thinking it really can make a decision that life did not demand or govern via cause and effect. Your mind will often get confused and think it is completely in control of itself, completely separate from the causal chain. It will often imagine itself not as a biological and spiritual process unfolding through time, but as a static personality, a being with a distinct and unchanging set of characteristics. This special entity known as “you” is thought to have a supernatural power over the universe in order to choose it’s own thoughts, choose it’s own actions and choose it’s own destiny: Your mind often thinks it sits at the helm of it’s own existence.
So what can we do to give it a reality check? Because that’s what is needed in order to feel ok about being subjected to all that life offers up. Well we can try to understand that our mind is like a computer, constantly ticking away, processing information, working at problems. We can imagine all the neurons in the brain like a circuit board, and every time a thought pops up in the mind it’s like electricity is flowing down a specific part of that circuit. A computer is never in control of it’s own actions – it has to be programmed, just like all humans are programmed by genetic and environmental factors.
So next time you feel stressed think about that picture of the mind at work, and you might find you take your responses less personally. When someone asks a difficult question, instead of thinking “oh god what am I going to choose say?”, you might simply wonder “Hmm I wonder what it will come up with to say, that’ll be interesting”. When someone expects something of you that you are not able to fulfil, instead of thinking “Oh I should’ve been able to do that, I’m a terrible person”, you might think “I wonder why my mind didn’t prioritise that, that’s interesting”. When you are confronted with a difficult decision, instead of getting stressed over “which should I pick?”, you can ask your mind “I wonder what it will pick”. Because it WILL pick something automatically at every second to be the focus of your attention. And where your attention goes, and what decision you end up making is really ultimately NOT UP TO YOU. The concept of “personal responsibility” is not a lesson in wisdom. But, you will find that those who are up to the level of development where they understand this, are also those who tend to behave in a way you might consider “responsible”. Meaning they will not be the ones out there trying to hurt or belittle other people, because they understand the people they meet are acting the the only way they can given their current belief system, and they also understand they were always meant to be running into such people, and they are incredibly valuable.
So then, understand you are governed! Take peace in the fact that everything you do is precisely the thing that life demanded you to do! Thoughts do not pop into your head because you picked them, they pop into your head because life demanded you think them! Take them as instructions and go about your day with peace of mind!