“CEASE EXPECTING AND YOU HAVE ALL THINGS”
I was at a conference recently and the featured speaker opened his talk by saying: “I’m sure of what I am going to say. I am not so sure what you will hear!” and he went on to give this example: A State Trooper stopped a man driving a pickup truck that was filled with penguins. He said, “You can’t be driving these birds around town. Take them to the Zoo immediately.” The next day the officer was amazed to see the same driver with his truck filled, once again, with the penguins. The only difference was that this time all the birds were wearing little sun glasses. The Trooper stopped the truck driver and angrily said, “I thought I told you to take these birds to the Zoo.” “I did,” replied the driver, “and today we’re going to the beach !!”
Isn’t that a great story? It made me really look at the fact that so many of us can read, hear or see the same thing and yet perceive it in a completely different way.. I guess it is based on our backgrounds, our innate prejudices and, sometimes, just plain stupidity. No wonder there is such a disconnect between humans.
Keeping an open mind is something that I’ve been cultivating over the past 17 years. These years have been spent in Alcoholics Anonymous and, believe me, that is the place to test your patience and tolerance. A sense of humor and some very wise members kept me on track. I am so glad they did because I wouldn’t have missed this journey for the world.
I always had high expectations and it wasn’t until I saw life through a different pair of glasses that I came to realize that I was cheating myself. “Cease expecting and you have all things” says Buddha. How crystal clear that is to me today. By taking the expectations out of my daily life I find that I receive much more than I would have settled for on my own. I no longer fight life. I accept things as they are and if I don’t condone or approve of them I leave them alone. (Who am I to change the universe to my specifications?)
So my new outlook on life (tried and tested over the past 17 years) is simplicity personified. I make plans, but I don’t predict the outcome. I accept people, places and things as they are and I realize that the only person I can change is ME !