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"All humans seek the illusive touch of another's Soul, which opens us to the sense of belonging to something bigger than the self. Dr. Kortsch has given us the true "tao" of relationship in this brilliant exploration of emotional tapestry. We will be grateful for this illumination of spiritual partnership for generations to come." Chris Griscom, Spiritual Leader, Author

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Not Minding What Happens


For a very large portion of my life, I've been intent on - and very conscious of - the desire to improve myself. Oh, I don't mean studying or learning more, or taking tennis or piano lessons, although all of that is also very much part of my life. What I mean with improving myself has to do with 'making myself a better person', or at least trying to. Becoming more patient, being less critical, dealing with my temper, being more loving, and so on. The list is long. Just like most people, I was born with (or learned to be like this as I grew) many faults and imperfections.

So of course this entailed much work, because long ingrained habits are not lost in a week. It meant I had to learn how to be very conscious of myself at all times. That was not so very hard - at least for me - as I had started this (albeit in small ways) already as a child barely into puberty. Later - much later - I incorporated a daily practice of mindfulness to my life. I also had to learn how to love myself and all that self-love entails. That was much harder, and continues to be an ongoing process.

But of course, the longer this continued, and the more I did it, the easier life became. There was less and less of anything that had the power to have an effect on me, and that meant it was easier to remain in a state of harmony and inner peace - or simply in a state of equilibrium - more of the time. Or conversely, perhaps precisely because I was in that state of inner peace, less and less of anything had the power to have an effect on me.

I began to clearly see that when something happened in my outer world, I was simply not particularly bothered. So if a flight was delayed and I lost my connection, I observed the facts, and I observed myself, noting if I still needed some self-dialogue to go back to that inner peace. If someone was rude or hurtful to me, I observed the facts, and I observed myself, again noting if self-dialogue was necessary to return to inner peace. If the internet was on the fritz; if the restaurant was out of the one thing I really wanted to order; if the appliance repair man didn't show up; if there was an unexpected traffic jam making me late for an important appointment; if I lost my keys; if someone had blocked my parked car, etc., etc., I noticed that I observed the facts and I observed myself, noting, as above, if I still needed self-dialogue to find my inner peace again.

It became very clear that life had become so much easier, so much more pleasurable - and I say this even in the midst of what sometimes were very trying outer circumstances.

It brought to mind something I had read in the late 90's about Jiddu Krishnamurti giving a series of talks in California in the 60's. He had many devoted followers who came to his lectures. One day he announced that on that evening he would reveal the secret to his happiness, as he felt that most of his followers, despite coming to many of his lectures, had not understood - had missed the point. Of course many of those people came to that revelatory lecture, hoping to finally find some inspiration. Krishnamurti then said: the secret to my happiness is not minding what happens.

I puzzled over this. At first it sounded as though he was lauding apathy. Then I thought no, he simply no longer has an attachment to the outcome of any given thing. And then I realized, as I underwent the process I have described in this post, that what this meant (or so I believe) was that he was simply able to observe events, people, facts, without getting caught in the sway of emotions that we normally attach to anything. There is that word 'attach' again. If you can observe what happens, if you can remain in that space of inner peace, good or bad, positive or negative emotions need not arise. And hence you don't mind what happens.

Does that mean you don't try to do something about it? Perhaps you are observing world hunger, or inequality, or human trafficking, or perhaps you are observing something difficult in your own immediate, or even personal environment. Of course you try to do something about it. But you do this in very different ways than you would if negative emotions were attached to it all.

Is this path easy? No. It is do-able? Absolutely yes. It - as so much else - is a choice for each and every one of us.

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Also visit my book website: www.gabriellakortsch.com where you may download excerpts or read quotations from any of my books. My latest book Emotional Unavailability & Neediness: Two Sides of the Same Coin is available globally on Amazon in print & Kindle. You can also obtain it (or any of my other books) via Barnes & Noble.


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