Yesterday's post was about how I've been coming to terms with who I am and what my life is, accepting the as-isness of it all and not giving into the false belief that there is an alternate existence in which I'd have been happier or more successful or more content.
Later in the night, I was wondering about the role of other feelings in my day.
If happiness is a given no matter what's going on — as I boldly claimed yesterday — why do feelings such as sadness, envy, fear, regret, anxiety arise?
I've often wondered why when I know intellectually how to bridge the gap between the feelings that arise and the state of happiness that is supposedly our default, I'm unable to put it into practice?
I've been asking the wrong questions.
No matter how much I know, all sorts of feelings arise, especially at what feels like the most inconvenient of times. I've spent 40+ years of this lifetime having feelings, building habitual responses to the people and situations in this world around me. To expect those instinctive responses to disappear in this lifetime is unrealistic.
What we can do instead is accept that all sorts of feelings will continue to arise, and remember that there is no alternate existence in which these feelings wouldn't have come up.
There is no other existence in which life wouldn't have been painful or messy.
There is no other existence in which we are not constantly assailed by discomfort and doubt.
There is no other existence in which we won't grapple with desire and longing, love and heartbreak, joy and grief.
We can let go of the belief that if only we looked some more or tried a little harder then we'd have been able to find that alternate existence.
When we let go of that belief, the one existence that we have is all we need to be concerned with. And we find that the present moment is all that truly matters.