Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as it should be. –Wayne Dyer
Think about it. When you are always thinking of the way things “should be” rather than the way they are right now, what you’re really saying is that you don’t like the way things are. That’s an admission of discontent, right there. When people start thinking of how things “should” be, they are not just making an objective observation. They’re more likely expressing not only discontent, but also sadness, grief, or anger. People who are angry about the way things are generally feel that the current situation will inevitably lead to an undesirable future, so add worry, fear, and dread to the mix. Now: if you are entertaining discontent, anger, sadness, grief, worry, fear and dread, how can you possibly be at peace?
OK, you say, I’ve seen how life is and I’m not happy about it. Isn’t that a kind of processing? Well, yes, but you are seeing the world through your own lens. You are experiencing it through a framework composed of your expectations.
What Dyer means by “processing” is simply looking at the situations and conditions of our lives without judging. This is hard to do, but it can be done. It’s fine to say, “This hurts. That makes me happy. This makes me cry. That uplifts me.” Those are observations, not judgments. But when you start making value judgments (this is good, that is bad), then you are in danger of doing the whole “should” routine again.
Basically, there are all sorts of experiences that we can have in this life, and not all of them are particularly pleasant. But the fact is that we, as Soul, came here in order to have these experiences so that we could take advantage of opportunities to manifest qualities such as perseverance, humility, tolerance, playfulness, gratitude, discrimination, and others. When we label our experiences as “bad,” we simply make ourselves miserable.
How much easier would life be if we could just forgo the labeling and accept the experiences of our lives as opportunities for us to learn and grow spiritually, to transcend our basic physical, mental and emotional programming! How much more peaceful would we be if we had faith that God is ultimately in control, and that everything in our lives is for our highest good! When we accept our lives with the attitude, “It’s all good,” we can attain the “peace that passeth understanding.” Retraining our minds with the goal of achieving this level of acceptance demands conscious effort and attention. We can’t afford to sleepwalk through our lives.
Pay attention to the times you start to label people, things, and events in your life as “good” and “bad,” or when you start labeling yourself as deficient, unlovable, or ugly. Stop your mind in its tracks. Freeze the thought. Use whatever mental visualization you like. Perhaps you will visualize your judgment as a piece of paper. Crumple it up and throw it away, or better yet, burn it and blow away the ashes. Or visualize your worry and fear as some sort of horrible, smelly gunk that you can put into a container and throw away. You may be surprised at how powerful your visualizations are. Be consistent, and continue to retrain your mind each and every day, whenever your mind starts to make those value judgments or entertain those negative thoughts. Eventually, you will stop thinking about the way the world “should” work and simply respond to the way the world does work. And you will have achieved a great deal of inner peace. 🙂