“What if…” vs. “Whatever”

I had an interesting meditation today.  I allowed myself to open to any possibility by using the word “whatever” as a mantra.  Whatever happens, whatever arrives, whatever leaves, it’s exactly what is supposed to happen.  To me this is Radical Acceptance.  And the exact opposite of suffering.

Suffering, to me, is arguing with what is happening.  I recently had surgery and for three weeks I have had pain and limited movement.  But it never crossed my mind to wish it away.  It just was what was happening. With acceptance of the reality of pain, it seemed to diminish.

A family member, during the holidays, asked me questions starting with “What if….”  I realized that all these questions tended to induce fear.  Most “What if…” questions are imagining problems.  Why would I want to speculate about future problems?  It seemed crazy, and it certainly seemed to induce anxiety. 

My response to “What if…” has to be “Whatever.”  Whatever comes; when it comes, I’ll deal with it.  But not until it comes.  Until then, I want to stay in the present moment, enjoying what is, and letting go, over and over, of thoughts about the future.

So, for today, I will meditate on this moment.  And when and if thoughts of “What if…” arise; I know to return to the openness of “Whatever”  Whatever comes I will open to and not resist.

This is peace.  Moment by moment.  How can life be any better than this?

Published by Jim Hussey

I am a licensed professional counselor, working in a hospital setting. I have been a meditator and teacher for 47 years, a therapist for 28 years and married for 29 years. My secret vice is golf.

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