To let it die 

We generally spend a lot of time in our self-centered dream. For instance, we think and fantasize about what other people can do to ease our suffering, thinking “If she only did it that way or treated me like this things would be good” or maybe “If she could only stop that things would be good”. What we do not often realize is that it is exactly this that creates our suffering – when we can’t face reality for what it is we do all wondrous forms of mental acrobatics to avoid it, often at a quite high price. The price is suffering (it is not the way I want it), helplessness (I can’t do anything about it, it is up to the other person to change), and stuckness (nothing else can happen before the other person moves), to name a few things at the top of my head. 

Why do we do these mental acrobatics? Because it is scary and painful to truly experience our feelings underneath all of our avoidance strategies. Of course, it is up to everyone to decide for themselves how they want to navigate life. My experience is that the suffering from clinging to my self-centered dream is ickier and more long-lived than stepping through the fire of my feelings – which then will settle, making space for new flow of life. 

A helpful practice on how to see and work with your mental acrobatics can be to let people or things die. Here, I’m talking about death as in the death of our attachment to our fantasies, projections (what we attach to others, like that they want something from us even though they have actually never said that – we just think so), and all that we do to avoid life as it is. 

So imagine that you are in a difficult spot with someone – can you let that person in your mind die? What are you hoping that the other person will change for you? Can you see that what you are demanding of the other person is basically “I don’t want you to be you, I want you to be something you are not”. And when you are more “sober”, can you start to see how there are so many more options than to bang your head bloody against a wall that won’t bulge? 

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