“All people on the planet are children, except for a very few.
No one is grown up except those free of desire.” ~ Rumi
Typically, how does a child react:
- When they don't get what they want?
- When what they want is being taken away?
- When they meet with what they don't want?
Born into a world of desire, the tendency to react strongly under each of these circumstances appears to be inherent in our nature. Observable at the earliest ages, if never addressed, more often than not the habit to react is reinforced through repetition, enduring the span of an entire life time.
Living in a constantly changing world, seeking a happiness dependent on external conditions always being favorable to our personal preferences is unreliable and quite unrealistic. We won't always get what we want, what we have and like will go away, and we will always have to face conditions that we would rather not.
So what can be done?
Practicing mindfulness, first and foremost we become aware of the tendency. We watch our minds and the behavior that arises upon not getting what we want. We realize that the default reaction exacerbates suffering. We then make the determination to abandon the behavior(s) that give rise to suffering.
In keeping with our determination, we act by ceasing any story telling that revolves around our some how being a victim. We keep drawing our mind away from thought patterns that result in our suffering feeling justified. As we watch these old ways of thinking dissipate, in their place remains a clear realization that every thing indeed is perfectly ok, and was only made to feel otherwise by our inability to accept reality as it is.
In this way, only through becoming wise to the ways of the mind can we abandon these childish tendencies and truly grow up.
We grow to know to approach the world with a more equanimous mind, one that leaves us less susceptible to being knocked off center by the inevitable vicissitudes of life.