On one of my favourite television shows, two characters were taking a road trip, and the tire blew. They got out of the car, and the young man said “Well, that happened.” His girlfriend queried this -“Is that all you’ve got to say?”
I like his attitude. There are many, many things in our life that are beyond our control. We have no control over other people, the weather, the bus timetable. It’s an acceptance of things the way they are – that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to change it if you aren’t happy with it, but it is the path of least suffering.
Those three words also state that whatever happened no longer exists – it is in the past, and the past is ungraspable. So is the future. We only have the now. Let’s get on with it.
I could rant and rail about other people’s behaviour and actions. Or I could get on with living my own life the best that I can. I can use the people and situations around me as inspiration to be the best person I can be at this point in time. I can also release any notion of control, for it is a fallacy at best.
Yes, certain events in human history are exceptionally horrid – it’s hard to say those three words about things like the holocaust, for example. It’s not letting go of the responsibility of our actions; it’s more about getting on with making things better instead of dwelling in our heads with our emotions and not really achieving anything. If a loved one dies, these three words aren’t particularly comforting. But it can give us a context, where we can feel the emotion at the time, and then work to make the world a better place in the precious time that we have left.
The next time something happens that has the ability to upset me, this is what I’m going to say. “Well, that happened”.
Excellent thoughts. In a similar vein, I don’t do ‘forgiveness’. I do ‘acceptance’. When I’ve been wronged, I try my best not to hold onto a grudge as that path is poison, but it also seems to me that forgiving someone for a transgression is akin to telling them that “It is OK that you have done this to me…I’m likely not worthy of being treated better.”
Far better to say “Well, that happened.” Accept it and if the relationship is meaningful to you at all and worth holding onto at all, to begin the work that will take to put the relationship into an honourable place again.
True, true, true! I have often wondered if it is, indeed, in our human capacity to forgive – Buddhism would say yes, but I do question that…
Because some days, you pretty much have to take this approach.
The past is a tool. We can use it to bring a smile to our face, we can use it to learn lessons about things we don’t want to do etc. But we can’t relive it, we can’t change it so it does not define us. Its like a carpenter, his hammer is his tool but its what he does with it that defines his work.
I often tell people I have absolutely no regrets, and people that know my history sometimes give me funny looks. I blew what could have been a great music career by developing a drug habit that nearly killed me, I have screwed up more opportunities than I can count, I have hurt people that I loved and been hurt in return. But every day of my life I reflect on what I have right now. I have beautiful children, a funny wife that actually has put up with me for the last 22 years, a roof that does not leak. I get to have wonderful conversations with people like this conversation. Right now is the greatest most defining moment of my life because its the only moment I have. Ooops…… now its gone. 😉
Lol! Absolutely no regrets – although sometimes I do wish people had treated me better, everything has been an experience, for both good and bad, and had brought me to where I am today. Moment by moment, just live it, love it.