I don't know about you, but I find I can be "managing" life pretty well and then along comes some fly in the ointment, and it's my ointment it chooses to land in. Thinking I had surpasses this particular life challenge, I can get pretty annoyed and spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to work out why it has come to me, what should I do about it, did I handle some situation badly that has brought this about, ? etc. If I am not careful it can fill my immediate vision and use up my time and resources, leaving me less energised than I would like to be. After I have spent more than enough time wallowing in this particular predicament, I usually manage, by hook or by crook, to step out of it and view it from a very different angle- so regaining a better and more balanced view on my life. Thank goodness!
A story that I keep coming back to when I find myself caught up in something is an old Zen tale:
There were once two monks on a long walk across a barren landscape. They came to a river where, lo and behold, they met a lone woman stranded on the same side of the river that they were on and desperate to get across so she could get home. One of the monks picked her up, and carrying her on his shoulders, he waded through the river and gently put her down on the other side, and continued on his journey.
As one of their vows was to never touch a woman the other monk was speechless and wouldn't talk to his friend for several hours. After another couple of silent hours walking he, at last, couldn't help himself and blurted out "You are a monk, and forbidden to touch a woman. How come you carried her across the river like that?" To which the other monk replied "That is true; however, I set her down back there on the banks of the river, and yet you are still carrying her!"
This is one of my favourite lessons, and I imagine I shall be using it many, many more times!
Sure, when the unexpected or unpleasant happens, maybe we need to do a little analysis to understand what we are able, and sometimes need to make a decision about what the next steps should be, but if we devote too much of our energy to it we may be in danger of becoming swamped in it, and whilst stuck in the mire we miss out on other aspects of our life. If we are still lliving in the past we can't also be wholy in the present.