Recently I attended a retreat in a beautiful natural setting in Somerset. Removed from the everyday distractions, a theme kept reoccurring to me, that we complicate life.
Don't get me wrong, life isn't easy and we will all come up against challenges and depending upon our environment and personal circumstances, those challenges can be significant. However we over complicate life from a perspective of how life is "supposed" to be.
"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell
Often our problems start with the gap of how we expect life to be and how life actually is. Before going to the retreat I was going through some relationship issues with my wife and one particular issue was becoming a real problem, to the point it started threatening our relationship. However at the retreat I had time and space to reflect, and it was how I was looking at the situation that was helping to create the problem.
"If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." Abraham Maslow
I began with "real-eyes" to see the truth; I was walking around with a "hammer" and it was my grip on this perspective that was preventing me from being able to deal with the situation in a way that was best for my wife and I. It was letting go of that perspective that helped me see that there was an opportunity for us to mutually grow. This didn't make our issues magically resolve themselves, but gave us different perspectives and ways of addressing them.
"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." Omar Khayyam
Fixating on "problems" and holding on to the clutter of old beliefs and expectations can obscure our perspective of the other things to be grateful for in any moment, at least that was my experience. Simplicity generally comes from being present in the moment and acceptance of that moment. It's also from this place that we can open ourselves and situations to new possibilities, as this is a real opportunity for us to grow.
What perspective or expectations do you have that are cluttering your perspective and are creating problems for you?