The Other Shoe

I don’t know about you, but when things are going really well in my life, I’ve sort of been conditioned to expect or wait for “the other shoe to drop.” I mean, I’ve always sort of had this notion that maybe I just can’t have really good things happening in my life. Like that just isn’t for me.

At some point along my journey, though, I started to really question that notion, pretty hard-core. For one thing, I realized that kind of thinking is often self-fulfilling prophecy. We so very often get exactly what we are expecting (or what we fear). And one day, I really decided that if I didn’t want that other shoe to drop… if I really wanted to eliminate drama and big nasty problems and deep, soul-scorching pain from my life, I had to start with changing my expectations.

The first thing I figured out is that control is an illusion. We literally have no control over what other people do or say or feel. We have no control over world events or even the events in our lives (if you get right down to it). I started to realize that old saying “man plans and God laughs” is pretty true, in a lot of ways. We love the illusion of control. It somehow feels safer to think if we plan correctly or set the right goals or exert our power or our will onto various circumstances and conditions that we can force things to go this way or that. We can’t. Life will come up with a way to prove that to you every single time.

So, I did a great deal of shifting of my thinking and my expectations and lo and behold my life got a lot calmer. You know, maybe things haven’t always been over-the-top stellar, but a lot of the drama dropped off and things sort of began to take on more of a feel of an even keel. Things still happen that are upsetting or that create waves of drama in my life, but knowing that my only true power lies in my response to any and all of these kinds of things has made me feel so much more steady and has cut the negative impact of these kinds of things to a minimum. I mean, there is a natural flow to life and things do shift and change… sometimes life feels better and sometimes it feels less so, but always, always, always, how I choose to react in any circumstance is the deciding factor in how “good” or “bad” those shifts feel to me.

Lately things have been going very well for me. I’ve been very happy in my life. Very content. There are just a number of blessings that have shown up and I am really feeling quite good about all of these things. Generally speaking, I don’t have any big worries right now and most of my days are truly happy. Life feels quite a lot better and brighter than I can really remember it feeling, certainly in recent times, and maybe even in my whole life.

Perhaps out of habit or conditioning, I started to think about that “other shoe” again. And finally, this time, I got this clear message from Spirit. There aren’t any other shoes. Period.

That doesn’t mean that life will stay as blissful as it is right now. It just means that life is not a “good or bad” proposition. As humans we love our contrasts. We say, how can we appreciate the good if we don’t have some bad? How can we recognize heaven if we don’t experience some hell now and then? But Spirit says to me, that is really just a false dichotomy.

I think that the remedy for this “other shoe” kind of thinking is to really, truly, be in the moment, live in the question and embrace the mystery. I am not saying it’s an easy thing to do. Our monkey minds are really good at keeping that fallacy alive and well and trapping us in that good/bad dichotomy. And our monkey minds love to chatter on and on about planning for (worrying about) the future. Our monkey minds really don’t like to let go of that illusion of control.

I’ve been on the journey of a lifetime (for my lifetime)… learning to embrace the fact that control is an illusion and we do not have to experience or endure things that feel bad to us in order to recognize or embrace or even deserve to have things that feel good to us. Things will always shift and change, that is true. That does appear to be the nature of living as a human being, and maybe even the nature of being an infinite soul, I don’t know. But what I do know is that I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a moment of worrying about what may come ruin a moment of the joy, happiness and even bliss I’m experiencing right now. I have a choice, and, at least in this moment, that is what I choose.