I Don't Care What Happens Next
on the spiritual state of the world, the implications and utility of love, the definition and methodology of enlightenment
Being unemployed can be really stressful. So can being unhappily employed. Feeling stuck in a career that doesn't seem to suit you is one of the top causes of dissatisfaction with one's life. (I think I read that somewhere.) Well, guess what? We're all there at some point. I'm there now. Odds are you're probably there now, too. But there's no reason to feel stuck when it's nearly impossible for that to be true. You always have a choice. In the ideal situation, you can just leave your current path and hop on the one best suited for you. Even when that isn't a good option for you, though, there's still a way out…or should I say a way in?
Turning inward, when we are unable or unwilling to change our external situation, we always have the option to change what's inside. My favorite explanation of this I've heard to date is from Tolle's A New Earth, where he provides not only his perspective on this truth but also a beautiful categorical system:
Basically, when everything is just totally perfect, whether that means our life's circumstances are perfect or our state of consciousness is perfect (so it doesn't matter what's happening around us), we're going to feel pretty darn happy. Specifically, when we're in a perfect state of consciousness, that feeling is so deep and pure and immutable that it becomes something on-the-whole different from and more valuable than mere happiness. Tollé refers to that state as the joy of being.
If that joy grows and becomes injected with a sense of purpose, as in the case of those who have found a career that suits them to a T, it turns into something else altogether. Enthusiasm imbues a sense of intensity into goal-directed action; it's an entire plan being put in motion or a problem being solved and, what's more, it's absolutely elating.
Failing an easily-enjoyable situation and a deep sense of enlightened being, we are often unable to either enjoy or enthuse our daily lives. In this situation—one in which I've been finding myself frequently in my latest professional endeavors—we are left with one good option: acceptance. If we can only accept what is, and slough our dissatisfaction, we can still find a sense of goodness and belonging from within.
The lesson is this: when we find ourselves unsure about the right next step, or in a situation which doesn't fulfill us, we should accept it anyway. This way, we can still be at peace and—bonus points!—it's a great addition to our existing spiritual practice. It's also possibly the best way to begin a spiritual practice. Applied to my current life, this lesson means stop stressing about jobs and remember to appreciate living. It's really quite basic…and vital.