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By Brianna Wiest
There’s a phenomena that people tend toward, and I call it “snapshotting.” It’s when we make grand assumptions about who we are and the quality of our lives based on how things seem in any given moment.
For example, instead of “I am not dating anybody right now,” we think, “I’m single and going to be alone forever” which begins an onslaught of moral judgements regarding our self-control and lovability and attractiveness.
Taking any given current circumstance and using it as a measurement of what’s possible is the fastest way to completely relinquish control of our lives.
We are forgetting about entropy. And impermanence.
The opposite of suffering is not happiness, it is creation. This is the most fundamental aspect of nature. Things in the world do not erode for the sake of it, they erode for the sake of growth. You are not suffering at the hand of your circumstances, you are in pain at the hand of your circumstances. You are suffering because you are not changing your life.
As Charlie Ambler says: “Recognize yourself as a simple collection of natural particles subject to the same laws of entropy and decay as any other particles. You are subject to metaphorical erosion, difficulty, destruction, etc. From this erosion comes your growth.”
You are subject to metaphorical erosion, difficulty, destruction, etc. From this erosion comes your growth.
But unlike rock particles and spaces of Earth, we have consciousness. Which means we have a duty to choose. When you’re lost, you’re also free. When you have to start over, you get to pick better. If you don’t like yourself, you have a chance to fall in love with yourself.
Suffering is a wake up call, and the message is to remember that you are the creator of your life. This does not mean that you can choose every erosion and disaster and miracle that occurs. It does, however, mean that you can habituate yourself. You can narrate the “snapshot.”
And the way you think about any given moment of your life determines the quality of it. Mindset is the grand navigator. It allows you to choose differently than before. It becomes a filter through which everything is processed.
When you suffer, you neglect your ability to decide the meaning of your life, and instead adopt judgements that you’ve heard and make them part of your own stream of consciousness. These are programs running on auto-pilot. Suffering is the signal to interrupt them. Suffering is the erosion that allows you to re-create them. Because these ideas are not just impacting you when they bubble up in your mind, they are likely constructing many other parts of your life experience, without your consciousness awareness of it.
Your pain is carving out space in your life for you to keep creating. What’s true of nature is also true of us, and it’s that we are constantly evolving, changing, morphing, phasing in and out of season.
We usually have the ability to choose what we want to create next in our lives. But we always have the ability to choose how we think about what transpires regardless.
Because either way, we grow. And that is nature’s only intention.
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