Facing Reality

January 23, 2013 by
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

spinewave chiropractic rock paper scissorsWe want a bigger house for our little family.

We’d worked and saved and thought we were in a position to make that move. But when we started looking, what we actually want isn’t within our reach right now, especially with Auckland houses being less affordable than New York. We could get what we want in other centres, but not what we want here.

For a long time I’d driven myself to this point, creating a lot of internal frustration, clearing myself entirely of business and personal debt, only to reach a bridge that says “still under construction.” I had to accept this reality, and that we will continue to work and save for what we really want, not settling for what we don’t. And that’s OK.

Nonstriving is a term used to describe surrendering to the moment, acknowledging and facing one’s experience instead of fighting it or trying to make it something that it’s not. What usually follows this sudden enlightenment is laughter, because laughter is the side by side comparison of illusion with reality. Striving and illusion accentuate pain, heightening the awareness of the nervous system to a false reality. So when you consciously decide not to strive anymore under false pretenses, a lot of pain, anguish and frustration begins to subside. Sometimes physically.

Accepting reality and having a laugh doesn’t mean there is no longer work to do. It means you have surrendered to the reality (to what is) and are now willing to do what is required without rose-tinted glasses.

People’s suffering often comes from a lack of neural harmony, which means incongruence between the mind’s perceptions and the life we experience. Over time we build up false realities and false evidence to support “our story” about why we’re in this relationship, why we’re overweight, why we’re in this job, why we chose this career, why we live in this country; why I get sick every winter, why I’m in pain, why I have no other options, why I am the way I am. The story is reinforced in the nervous system and creates more and more neural disharmony. The illusion and pattern perpetuates. Suffering continues.

Your story is not true, and it is not reality. If you’re not happy, you don’t need to pretend to be happy. There’s a cultural phenome that you need to be an eternal optimist, to always look on the bright side, to put a smile on your dial, and to “soldier on” (a term I’ve heard from many struggling clients over the years). Living in a false reality can be very detrimental.

While of course no one likes whiner, if you’re having a really hard time, it’s OK to accept this reality, honestly ask for help, and look to make a change. Changing from depression to anger is a good step. It’s an action step. But society frowns upon anger so they push the person back down into depression. Find the right people!

Change will only happen when you accept the reality.

If you are the conscious creator of your story, that’s also a problem, and you need to face reality. When I first moved to New Zealand, I wasn’t happy, and I let everyone know it! I didn’t want to move here because I didn’t want to uproot my life, have no friends, no job, no career and no money. Frankly, the prospect didn’t sound enticing. But I knew that’s what had to happen. Burying my head in the sand, thinking my personal reality in South Africa was going to get any better was reinforcing the illusion and I needed to accept what was happening.

Working consistently in one direction pays off eventually, but you have to do what it takes, and you have to pay the price. Brian Tracy says it takes 7 years of focused effort to start reaching the top of your field. Malcolm Gladwell says 10,000 hours in his book Outliers. If I want a black belt in Aikido, I know I have to put in 500 hours on the mat and it’s not going to happen by meditating at home. When I wanted a new career, I knew I had to start from the bottom and work my way up. If you want to lose weight, you have resolve that there is only one equation: eat less and exercise more. That rule has never changed, however people’s stories do all the time. If you want a better job and you know you need to upskill, do what is required. If you have a desk job, you will need regular chiropractic care – that is the reality. We’re not designed to sit at desks. If you’ve come to find yourself on a so-called “lifestyle” medication for a fully reversible “condition” which is under your control – and you don’t want to be on it – face reality. You need to change and you need to stick it out.

Change will only occur when the reason becomes important enough.

Sadly, it’s amazing how dire that reason has to be for some people: debilitating pain, diabetes, cancer, divorce, death. You can’t change them though. If you’ve ever tried to get your spouse or partner to do something differently, you’ll appreciate it’s an effort in vain that doesn’t end well. People change for their own reasons and only once they’ve faced their reality.

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