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Clear Thinking - Are YOU Missing Out?

From: Jay
Sent on: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 10:14 PM


��Are YOU Missing Out?

There is an almost universally accepted wisdom that at any given moment on our journey through time and space, otherwise known as ���life���, wherever you are is wherever you are meant to be.�� However we tend to spend significant amounts of time wanting to be somewhere else.�� How often have we heard someone say, ���Well where were you���you should have been there���you missed a great���!����� It���s the moment when we learn to believe ���life��� has just passed us by���again!�� This is also the moment when we start creating and sustaining the habit of thinking we are ���missing out��� on something.

��It���s that thought and feeling that something is happening elsewhere and we should be there to experience it and be a part of it.�� This habit eventually ensures that there will be frequent periods in our life when we are in a state of partial if not complete ���absence���.�� When we are not fully present wherever we are then our ���presence��� will be weak and our contribution and effectiveness will be diminished.

��So what pulls our conscious attention away from the here and now?�� What triggers the feeling that life may be passing us by?�� There are a number of forms that the ���I���m missing out on something��� thought and feeling can take.

��1�� Aspiring to Acquire

It usually begins in childhood when we learn to perceive the lives of others to be better than ours. ���They��� seem to have more, live more and be more.�� The world of marketing and advertising is designed to instil this perception in order to ���fire up��� our aspirations to acquire what others have so that we don���t miss out on the good life based on others lives.��

��2�� It���s more fun elsewhere

When we hear stories of how much fun people had last night or last week we wish we had been there and we start to create both hope and worry that we won���t miss out on future similar events.�� We start to look for evidence that yet again there is something happening elsewhere and that we are not in the right place at the right time to be part of the fun.

��3�� I will miss some special moment with some special people

If there is an attachment to and/or dependency on another, especially to someone whom we consider to be ���very special���, there can develop a tendency to believe when we are not with them, we may be missing out on some special experience that can only be had in their presence.

��4�� Others may get ahead of me

Our competitive conditioning often takes over and we either drive ourselves onwards to make sure we don���t miss out on the honours and prizes, the approval and accolades in life.�� Or we give up, sit back and create an inner fate for ourselves that sounds like, ���I am always the one who misses out���, so what���s the point?�� Often referred to as ���learned helplessness��� this thinking can paralyse our enthusiasm at any moment and drive us into depression.

��5�� Unlimited Possibilities

It���s not difficult to create an addiction to events in a world where we can potentially know what is happening everywhere at the click of a mouse.�� In an interconnected and mediated world we are constantly invited to be present anywhere and everywhere at any time of our choosing.�� As we find it somewhat difficult to be omnipresent it���s inevitable that we may conclude that we are always missing out on something somewhere���all the time!

��6�� Something is more likely to happen to them than it is to me

If we allow ourselves to become impressed by other people���s wonderful experiences we may start to believe that nothing wonderful ever seems to happen to me.�� And even if something wonderful does happen then it���s not long before it���s not wonderful ���enough��� and there must be something more wonderful being experienced by others and because we are not there to experience it ourselves we are missing out ��� again! Phew!

��7�� The last time I was here I missed something there

The memory of believing that we missed something important in the past ensures we become edgy and nervous in our decision making in the present as we are anxious that it won���t happen again.

��For the person with the ���missing out��� habit of thinking the grass is always greener on the other side of that hill.�� The belief that we are missing out obviously has its roots in the belief that our happiness, fulfilment and self worth lie somewhere ���out there��� in a place where we are not present.�� It���s a sign that we have forgotten how to be content within our self wherever we are. It���s a sign that we have lost our awareness of our innate worth.�� It���s a sign that we expect some thing or someone in the world to take responsibility for our happiness and make our life fulfilled.

��And so we become inwardly skilled at creating many reasons to believe and feel we are missing out on something somewhere. And yet we know that in reality we can never be anywhere other than where we are.�� We can never miss out on anything ���real���.�� When we start to think we are missing out we ���imagine��� what it may be like to be in the place where we are not missing something. But imagination (images in the mind) are not real.�� Imagination is the use of past experiences to speculate.�� And imagination, speculation and past experiences are not ���real��� in the moment called ���now���. Only the self, the ���I��� that says ���I am��� is real in this moment now.

��The truth is you can never miss out on anything ���real��� but as long as you believe things and places are more real other than where you are right now, which is ���here��� right now, then you will always be hankering after the unreal.�� As long as you believe your happiness and worthiness are anywhere other than with you here and now then the ���anxious discontentment��� that arises when you believe you are missing something important will be a continuous background noise in your consciousness.��

��Learning to be present, learning to be content in the present, knowing for sure that there is nothing ���out there��� that can give you stable and sustained sense of self-worth and personal contentment, is the only way to free your self from the gnawing and sometimes extremely subtle anxiety that we should be somewhere else.

��Obviously you can only ever be in one place at any moment in time.�� If you feel you are missing out on something then you are.�� But it���s not the party, or being with another person or even being in the right place at the right time that you���re missing, it���s your own life.�� As long as you are thinking of where you could be, you are marking yourself absent from where you are now.�� Which means you are nowhere.�� Many people spend their entire life in ���nowhere��� instead of now here!�� Not a wise choice!�� Being fully present in the here and now is obviously a much better choice.�� Until of course the penny drops that there is no choice!

��Question:�� Why do you think that you frequently think you are missing out on something?

��Reflection:�� When you were not present for an event it means you were not meant to be there and wherever you were was wherever you were meant to be!

��Action:�� At the end of the day re-run the day on the screen of your mind and count the number of times you thought you would like to be somewhere else.

�� �� Mike George 2010

Center | Retreat | MWC

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