• Aranka de Vries

"this is wrong"

'𝙎𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜.' Do you recognize this thought? This whiff of: not right – wrong – must fix – cannot rest – want it different. You see the smoke and look for the fire. Clever. Yet, how smoky is your life? Do you find yourself on the lookout for smoke, even when it’s not there? If so, you know you’re caught in one of human’s biggest tendencies: the denial of the present moment.

One of the biggest sabotaging beliefs we humans have is: there is something wrong 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 this moment. Do you notice, how often you think this? Something must be wrong, with this event, with this feeling, with me. No other mammal has this belief. The goat sees the lion coming at him and knows: something is wrong 𝘪𝘯 this moment, gotta run. Run! Notice the subtle, yet huge difference. Something is wrong 𝘪𝘯 this moment, meaning: get the hell out of here now. Adrenaline kicks in, nervous system activates, you run and a life is saved. The threat passes, your system regulates back to rest. Now, what if something happens and we believe there is something wrong 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 this very event. You believe: this cannot be happening. Not now, not to me. This is denial of reality. And when we deny reality, we cannot run. We cannot get out, because there no acceptance that we got in. And when we don’t run, we freeze and we get stuck in the awkward place of being neither in nor out.

Here, we cannot stay in the body, so then our mind comes to the rescue: I can fix this, it says. Good, you think. Finally some movement. But what you’re forgetting is that you just labelled life as wrong. This moment is wrong, meaning that you are turning against life. It’s you against life. Life against life. And there is no fixing that.

This is your resistance to life, your confusion. Thinking that you can fix something that you labelled wrong is the result of our sense of separation from life. It’s an arrogance of the mind, placing itself above experience, and this is very painful. We cannot accept the experience where are having and we separate ourselves. We want to be bigger, we want to find our way around it. And we cannot. We cannot work our way around life, because we are it.

So, when you find yourself with ringing alarm bells: check. Is something wrong in this moment, or do I have a judgment 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 this moment? If there is immediate threat, you know it’s the first: move! Fight, flee. Whatever you need to do to get yourself safe. Get out of the smoke, kill the fire.

If it’s the latter: also move. But move towards life, not away. Don’t get stuck. It’s not nice being stuck.

Dance, embrace yourself, cry, stamp, ask a hug, howl, roar - whatever. Meet the moment. Don’t believe your thoughts about how this moment should be looking differently. 𝘉𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵.

This, exactly this, is how the moment should be looking. Life is never wrong.

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