|1. Manage expectations.
Most of us expect the world to be
different than what it is. We expect it,
somehow, to conform with our desires,
then get upset when the world isn’t the
way we want it. Saying the world is what it
is doesn’t mean we have to be passive.
Our freedom to act is part of the world
being the way it is. Still, most of us allow
ourselves to be bothered by things that
are way beyond our control.
2. Listen to your body.
I had migraines for years and tried many
medicines. Most days I can deal with the
pain. Only gradually did it occur to me
that the problem wasn’t entirely with my
body. The problem was with the stressful
circumstances in which I found myself.
My body was trying to tell me to find a
different way. When I began listening to
my body, the headaches began to
diminish. What are your physical
symptoms telling you?
3. Do what is before you to do, then
let it go.
We get hung up on outcomes. As
youngsters, we go through periods of
great self-consciousness, worried about
what others think of us. If only we can
make certain things happen, we feel,
people will feel good about us. As we
age, hopefully we grow beyond such self-
consciousness. Each of us has won a
few, lost a few, and tied some others.
Sometimes we win, sometimes we don’t.
A happier course is to find something we
love to do, then do it. Do it not so others
will feel better about us, but because we
love to do it. If we succeed, we succeed.
If not, then not. When we work because
we enjoy what we’re doing, the outcome
doesn’t matter as much. We can do the
work before us, wholeheartedly, and not
feel like we have to manage the feelings
of everyone around us.
4. Remember what you are, not just
who you are.
You are an animate body, aware of itself,
partly conscious and partly not. You are
a series of thoughts, emotions,
memories, and sensations. Your feelings
come and go like clouds in the sky. You
can’t hold them, even when you want to.
Remember what you are, and,
conversely, what you aren’t. If there is a
Self in you, something that knows the
thoughts, the body, the emotions, and
all, this Self probably isn’t what you
thought it was. Take time to get to know
what you really are.
5. Understand and forgive.
I know I’ve made bad decisions when I
act out of fear. I have come to regret
many of those decisions, as I suppose all
of us do. Others also make poor
decisions out of fear. I need to
understand that, to understand that most
of us are doing the best we can with what
we have. Understanding my own
weaknesses helps me understand why
others sometimes act in ways that hurt.
They aren’t any more (or less) malicious
than me. This helps us not take things
too personally, to be more tolerant when
there is pain. Understanding myself
makes it possible for me to forgive. It
makes it possible not only for me to
forgive others, but for me to forgive
©2008, John Cunyus,
All Rights Reserved,
Words, Images, and
©2008 John G. Cunyus
All Rights Reserved
John Cunyus is a
working in North Texas.