Would You Rather Accept Or Judge? (Maybe)

The deeper interconnectedness of all things and events implies that the mental labels of “good” and “bad” are ultimately illusory. They always imply a limited perspective and so are true only relatively and temporarily. This is illustrated in the story of a wise man who won an expensive car in a lottery. His family and friends were very happy for him and came to celebrate. “Isn’t it great!” They said. “You are so lucky.” The man smiled and said, “Maybe.” For a few weeks he enjoyed driving the car. Then one day a drunken driver crashed into his new car at an intersection and he ended up in the hospital with multiple injuries. His family and friends came to see him and said, “That was really unfortunate.” Again the man smiled and said, “Maybe.” While he was still in the hospital one night there was a landslide and his house fell into the sea. Again his friends came the next day and said, “Weren’t you lucky to have been here in the hospital.” Again he said, “Maybe.”

The wise man’s “maybe” signifies a refusal to judge anything that happens. Instead of judging what is, he accepts it and so enters into conscious alignment with the higher order. He knows that often it is impossible for the mind to understand what place or purpose seemingly random event has in the tapestry of the whole. But there are no random events, nor are there events or things that exist by and for themselves, in isolation.”

Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth

It has been almost 3 weeks since we came back to Manila after 3 months in Bicol. I remember family and friends encouraging me to stay in the province longer. I had mixed feelings. But I knew that I had to go back. Was my decision right? Maybe. Would it have been better if we stayed? Maybe. No matter how hard we try, things happen and we do not (and cannot) understand why. Usually while just in that moment, and if we are lucky, we do in hindsight, but sometimes we have no choice but to accept that the choices we made may (or may not) be the best one.

For how do I know if I would have been better off staying at my parents’ house? How do I know if I would have been better off not giving a stranger a chance to break my heart? How do I know if I would have been better off staying in IT? How do I know if I would have been better off not giving up my first choice in college, BS BAA in UP Diliman?

Apart from driving me crazy, trying to find the answers to these questions is pointless. For one, I could not turn back time. No matter how hard I attempt to weigh the pros and cons of each and every single decision I have to make, choosing one would always make me wonder what could have been had I picked the other.

I look at my daughter now and her opportunity to learn to swim and get to play with other kids in the afternoon, maybe if we had stayed in Bicol she would be spending more time in front of the screen. I look at myself in the mirror and how I have overcame my fear of commitment, maybe if I have not given my ex a chance, yes I would be alone too but at least he made me realize I want to be in a loving and long term relationship. I look at myself and how I have developed my social skills in sales, maybe if I have stayed in IT I would not be as good with people as I am today. I went out with a guy who had a PhD in Physics and I have enjoyed our conversation about atom entanglements on the night we first met, maybe if I have not given Ateneo a chance, I would not have been able to keep my end of most conversations I find myself in.

Lately, I found myself questioning everything that is happening again. Why did COVID-19 happen? Why did it kill my engagement? Why did I lost a lot of what I have worked so hard for? Why do I find myself in a country with probably one of the worst response to the pandemic? It is messing with the way I think, and more importantly, how I function. Just when I thought I have made great progress, I would have one of those days again when it takes everything I have just to get up in bed in the morning. I look at my daughter and I know giving up is not an option, so today I had to remind myself that my knowledge and ability to understand the greater scheme of things is very limited.

Is this a bad thing? Maybe. It has been almost 16 months since the lockdown started, and if I did not make a conscious effort to manage somehow, I am certain I would be crazy now. Instead of acting smart and always looking at why things happen, “maybe” I should be more like the wise man and try not to judge the merit of an event happening and just accept. Accept the fact that there are certain things my mind cannot fully fathom. Accept that there are things beyond my control. Accept that there are things I cannot do anything about but accept.

This will definitely take time, but I will work on it. Whenever something happens, I will pause for a minute, not resist (“is that so?”) and not judge (“maybe”). Would you like to try with me? Maybe?

#ToABetterSarah #FromZeroToHero

She is busier than I am. ❤

4 Comments

  1. ultratane says:

    Sarah I sympathize with you after reading.
    Someone once said to me “If its out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind too.”
    I found comfort in that because my mind was constantly trying to make sense of the situation I was in.
    I hope you find freedom and peace of mind knowing that better days are coming.
    Take care Sarah

    Like

    1. I sure hope you’re right, Jay. That better days are coming. I cannot help but try to make sense of the events happening, which usually does not. Will try not to let things I have no control over to bother me.

      Like

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