Why do I feel stuck when the one thing I am guaranteed in life is change?
According to the teachings of the Buddha, life is comparable to a river. It is a progressive moment, a successive series of different moments, joining together to give the impression of one continuous flow. It moves from cause to cause, effect to effect, one point to another, one state of existence to another, giving an outward impression that it is one continuous and unified movement, where as in reality it is not. The river of yesterday is not the same as the river of today. The river of this moment is not going to be the same as the river of the next moment. So does life. It changes continuously, becomes something or the other from moment to moment.
When I read that quote my head gets it but my heart is keenly invested in regret. My stuckness has a lot to do with being unhappy about the way things are because of past choices. Honestly though, what a useless emotion regret is. It must be the double fudge brownie filled Haagen Dazs flavor of emotions. Self indulgent and unhealthy, but somehow oddly compelling to have.
I once heard a very successful performance coach talk about when he worked with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan specifically. He said the mark of a champion is that he learns from his mistakes and moves on. He does not waste time ruminating, or beating himself up.
Learn. Move on.
He said that if the Bulls lost a game, Michael would watch the video and say “Wow, I won’t do that again” and then he happily moved on to the next game. What a concept. Learn from what didn’t work, and decide not to repeat that behavior and move into the next moment.
Rereading the quote above-If the river of today is not the river of yesterday, if there is no continuous flow, if today is just the experience of today and I don’t need to drag yesterday into it…well, that’s a game changer, isn’t it?
If today is just today, What will I do? How will I feel? What is possible for me?
There is a choice here. Will I sit on the boulder of all my yesterdays and ruminate, or will I keep walking on my path and see, really see, what is here today?
I know my answer.
What will you do?