Somewhere I am sure I have read that one of the main tenants of Zen Buddhism is the ability to not become attached to outcomes. When we allow our egos to desire one outcome over another, we are forced to see the outcomes as either “good” or “bad.” We place our energies on achieving the “good” outcome, while beginning the process of suffering before the “bad” outcome has even happened yet. Just the thought or possibility of the “bad” outcome occurring is enough to make us start suffering. This suffering is determined by our need to control elements of our lives which our often beyond our control. When we realize that we have no jurisdiction over factors that we want to have power over we suffer even more.
Let me give you a concrete example. I am waiting for a job lead to either come to fruition and move from Doha, “good” outcome, or to take a job that will force us to stay one more year in Qatar, “bad” outcome. No matter how many times people tell me to just relax, and what is meant to happen will happen, I am already thinking about how upset I will be if we do not get this overseas job, so much so, that it is all I think about. I think about it before I sleep, when I wake up. I cannot eat. I cannot simply enjoy the little things in my daily life, until this situation is solved. I want to just relax. I cannot.
I practice Zen to help me get through times like this, but the awareness of how I should act and the way I am actually acting is compounding my frustrations. I know I should just relax and allow either outcome to be okay with me, but I can’t do it.
I suppose writing these thoughts down is a good way to meditatively work my way through the process, or perhaps I need to simply sit somewhere quietly and let go of my desire to move, but it is so strong that I cannot control it. I have placed too much happiness in the idea, that to save some of that happiness for the present seems disrespectful. People keep telling me that what is meant to be will be. But I want what I want to be to be!
I was watching TV last night and starting thinking about how easy it is for people on TV. All their problems are solved in one hour, while I have been stressing about my future since March. But I guess when it is all said and done; my fate can be summarized in an hour show as well. The hardest part is that I know what I should be doing. Enjoy the now. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your freedom. Enjoy doing nothing. I know all that, but deep down I really want this to happen.
Part of the problem is that for as long as I can remember everything in my life has gone according to my plan. I guess being blindsided by this episode is the way the universe is teaching me how to deal with not always getting my way, so like a petulant child I am constantly in a state of tantrum.
If you have any advice that doesn’t involve you telling me to do, what I just said I cannot do, I would appreciate it. I am sure that no matter what happens, I will be fine. I just want to know how to better deal with situations like this in the future. I am tired of the stress. I am tired of suffering for things that have yet to even happen.