Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Question from a Reader: How do I get past wishing?

  • I got this email from a reader friend, and I thought it was worth sharing. In the Skiing in the Shower community, people tend to ask their questions privately to me, but some are so important for the rest of us, that they deserve their own post. 
    Thank you to my brave friend for sending in this question, and I hope the answer is helpful. If YOU have a question or a comment about anything you read here, or something you are facing in your life, feel free to post it as a comment, and I will happily do my best to answer you. I don't always have THE answer, but I think our experiences as humans are so similar, it helps to talk them out and realize you are not alone in your struggle, or in your joy. 

    From the Reader:
    I read your new post about loving someone who is gone. You said "If, in the space of missing we begin wishing, this is when attachment begets suffering". I agree with that. What i struggle with is how do i get out of the wishing phase. I get stuck here, feeling that suffering, trying to change the world to suit my wishing. How can i move from wishing to accepting?

    From Kate:

  • This is a good question! Wishing is the root of all suffering, it's what we as humans are wired to do. It's hard to change.
    Think about it this way. If you cut your foot, it is cut. You can't go back in time and unmake the wound. And wishing it wasn't cut isn't productive, all it does is focus on the unchangeable aspect.
    If you can look at your foot and say, well, my foot is cut. I accept that as my new reality. Things will be different for a while while this wound heals.
    Now, you can make proactive choices around healing. Maybe stop the bleeding first. Wash it. Bandage it. Then care for it as it heals.
    Your heart is just the same. Accepting that the one you love is gone is hard. Work toward that place first. Don't try to fill that place with blame or anger or sadness or happiness or someone else. Just let that wound be there. Accept that you have a wound. Then, stop the bleeding. Let go of wishing it was different. Begin to do things that help you to heal. Be with friends, ride your bike. A broken heart is like a broken bone. It takes time and patience to heal well. Compassion for yourself without going into self pity or blame for the other person goes a long, long way.
    Xoxo I hope this helps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Acceptance of a pre-existing or new reality is critical to progress/resolution. I accept that I will never ski at the level I wish I could, but also know that I don't ski as well as I might. I also know that I care enough, to do something about it. That leads to hard work, not wishing. The acceptance of the reality of something, like a crowded market for yoga instructors, youre right Kate, does not need to mean not doing something, but can also mean handwork and the search for a unique approach. Dear asker of question, I'd suggest reading the truth of tao by Alex Anatole. With love from linear and logical.

PS: big difference between wishing and wanting... Wishing contains a passivity, whereas wanting can, but doesn't always, lead to hard work.