Throw Away the Wish ListFriday, March 29, 2013
Every single day, the thing we have to remember is that life is not about our wish list. We’re not in this world to get something. We’re really not. If we live from our wish list, we’re going to be miserable. Somebody once asked Jay Rockefeller if he had enough money; his response was “Almost.” The thing about getting close to our wish list is it’s always just beyond our grasp, because it’s an illusion, because that wish list comes from the dark. It has nothing to do with anything.
In the book Incognito, David Eagleman points out that because of the lag time between our having an experience and our brains actually absorbing the experience, we never actually live in the present. We never live in the present. He also talks about how in our visual field there are huge holes. There’s big spot in our retina where there are no sensors. Our brain is wired up to ignore the big holes in our visual field; we don’t notice it, but it’s there and it’s prominent. But we never see it, because our brain is taking the data that it does get and building an image out of that data that is a complete image. It’s the same way a computer works. Furthermore, if the brain has already absorbed a particular set of data points, unless we focus directly on a change in that picture, it will continuously feed back to us the same picture.
So essentially, our brain, based on its fundamental programming is constructing a view of reality, even of our concrete physical world, and building an image which has nothing to do with anything. If it can do that with a concrete physical world, think what it does with our subjective part of it! Then we react to that discovery with surprise and disappointment, never noticing that that’s exactly what we’re relating to, and then we go through our life endlessly reacting to our reactions and being buried in all of the tensions of that.
The most fundamental part of the spiritual practice that I share (and really, any spiritual practice) is to wake up every morning and open our heart to the reality of our life. Not what we wish it was, and not what we regret that it isn’t, and not what we think it ought to be. But open our heart to the reality of our life.
Opening our heart to the reality of our life, we can take in the tensions—-not an easy thing for us to do, especially in the beginning—-and break them down and really find love within ourselves for the people that we share this experience with. We understand they are in our life, and have been in our life for many lifetimes, representing what we haven’t digested and what we haven’t surrendered that is actually nourishment that has come to us and needs to be. We can deal with our life day by day, finding within ourselves a simple joy and a simple gratitude for things like the opportunity to consciously take a breath and feel it; gratitude for a glass of water and how that feels being absorbed. There are so many unbelievably simple things that we ignore that, if we paid attention to them, we would discover are really nice. But we’re so trapped in our desires, we’re so hung up in our wish list and our struggle with it, that we end up condensing our creative energy instead of flowing with it.
We have to take responsibility for opening our own hearts and loving our own life. In that effort, the effort that we have to make to open ourselves and love our own life, we will begin to feel worthy, really deeply worthy of love, and other people will experience that love in our life and love us, too.
It’s not about doing it tomorrow. It’s about doing it today. It’s about doing it now. There is no other time but now. We have to open our hearts and love our life, throw away our wish list and have the courage to see what magic and what blessings are waiting to reveal themselves to us. Doing this will allow us to find a total transformation in the quality of our experience.