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John Lennon wrote in a song that “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That’s beautiful. Life is something that happens to us while we’re busily engaged in something else. Worse: Life is something that happens to us while we’re busy suffering all sorts of upsets. I have a perfect image for this. Think of a concert hall. The orchestra is to play a symphony. You’ve settled down nice and comfortable in your seat and you’re ready to hear the music and to enjoy it, and then suddenly you remember that you forgot to lock your car. Oh, gosh, what do you do now? You can’t get out—it’ll be too disturbing. You can- not enjoy the music, and you’re caught in between. That is the image of life for most people. Constant anxiety. What do I do now? What’s going to happen next? How do I cope with this? How do I deal with that?
You mean, there is another way? You mean another condition is possible? YES! That’s exactly what I mean.
Let’s begin with you being upset. What is it that upset you? Somebody died? Somebody betrayed you? Someone rejected you? You lost something? Something’s failed or broken down? Your plans have gone awry? Think right now of something that has upset you in the recent past or is upsetting you right now.
Now, get your soul ready for a shock. Here it comes. Reality is not upsetting. Nothing in reality, nothing in life, nothing in the world, upsets you. Nothing has the power to upset you. Did anyone tell you that? All upset exists in you, not in reality. You can underline the word all. All of it. All of it. All of it.
All upset is in you, not in life. Not in reality. Not in the world. It’s in you. Not that it is your fault. No. Society programmed you to be upset whenever the world isn’t the way your culture says it should be, whenever you are not the way your culture said you should be or whenever life fails to give you the outcome you want. You have been trained to believe you should not and even cannot be happy unless it does. It’s a false belief. Right here, right now you have everything you need to be happy whatever the world does or doesn’t do. Just understanding this has changed the lives of people, turning their lives around180 degrees. Just understanding this, and nothing more.