‘satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable.’
There is this notion, this nagging feeling of what our life is supposed to be like – our career, our friends, our partner, our body, our free time – we may have standards and expectations for all of these.
We want these ideals, we see others with them and we are bombarded with the promise of them. The wanting, needing, waiting for things to turn out as they’re supposed to – it’s exhausting.
The ideal is supposed to bring us happiness and security.
When we don’t have the ideal we feel resentful at what we do have and we continue to crave something better.
It occupies our mental space, this feeling of the current state not being good enough.
But what do we do when what we want doesn’t equal what we have?
Challenge your ideals and discover what is actually fueling the need, the rush, to have it.
Where do your ideals come from? Are you trying to live up to someone else’s expectations? Have you defined success, beauty, love for yourself? Or have they been defined for you?
It is completely okay to have desires, wants, but let’s dig deep to make sure we are intentional about them and that they are coming from our best self.
Why isn’t what we have now enough? “Because it could be better? Because I could be happier?” And so we function in this constant dis-ease of the current state being insufficient.
The sense of lacking is always lurking around the corner.
See the tug of war.
When our sense of being complete or enough is attached to the achieving of something, to the expectation of something, then we also have emotions attached to NOT having achieved something.
For example, if our happiness is tied to getting a promotion, then our disappointment is tied to not being promoted.
We are not aligned, we are pulling ourselves in two directions.
On the other hand, if we are happy in our current role, and we continue to simply do our best, any opportunity that comes up, is simply that, something to consider and take on, or not. When we start to live completely in this moment, this shift happens easily and before we know it, many doors start to open.
But when there is a goal in mind that is tied to being the source of our happiness, then we become stuck – we may still achieve our goal but life will keep sending us lessons until we get it: we are enough NOW. We are whole NOW. There is nothing lacking here. So…
This moment is your best teacher.
In the thick of your craving for your ideal, what comes up for you? Anger, frustration, sorrow, anxiety, a feeling of lacking, of being ‘less than’?
What do you run to? Your phone, food, the internet, tv?
Next time it comes up, dig deep – this is where the learning is.
These feelings come up because we have created beliefs around not having this ideal – it may translate to not being good enough, not intelligent enough, not attractive, unloved, alone.
Where do you feel you’re not enough? This is where we do the work.
We may be so used to going outward to validate ourselves, we’ve likely had years and years of practice finding peace this way – but it’s always short-term – soon we’re looking for our next fix.
So sit still, take a few breaths, and ask yourself, really ask yourself, what is the lesson here? What do I need to know?
There is great power in sitting still and practicing inaction.
When we practice not reaching for a fix, practice sitting through discomfort, we watch as our mind comes up with all the possible choices we could act on. Then, purposefully, we pick the best option.
In this way we become an active participant in our lives, we become intentional, we live in accordance with our best self.
You’ll feel antsy, uncomfortable, your mind will feel unstoppable in its urges to give into the fix – so smile, literally smile, send the message that you’re not taking all this so seriously, that’s it’s not the biggest deal that your mind is making it out to be, that nothing will fall apart if you just sit still for a minute…and then for another.
Live ‘as if’.
What if we lived “as if” – as if we already are successful, beautiful, loved, as if we are being completely taken care of, as if there is no other way for things to unfold except as they are right now.
Can we surrender to this? Stop resisting, stop fighting and let this be what we come back to?
When we live ‘as if’, there is no rush, nowhere to be, no overwhelming feeling to get it all done. We’re already there. There is an ease in living ‘as if’. This moment becomes all we have, and so we give our best right now, right here, and things start to feel easier, lighter.
Don’t make this practice into another ideal.
You have been acting in a certain way for years. Now you’re asking your mind to do things differently. Change is challenging for everyone so your mind will fight you at first. Allow it to fight you, welcome the challenge, remember that there is no rush, you have nowhere to be but here.
Bring your eyes, ears, body back to where you are in this moment, surrender to the notion that you are being completely taken care of and re-commit to giving your best right here.