You’re never just in life, this situation, this moment. You’re also in a particular relationship with it.
So often this is transparent, like the air you’re breathing as you read this. But it’s illuminating to understand that the world you’re experiencing isn’t ever simply ‘the’ world.
Perhaps your relationship is to welcome whatever is happening. Perhaps you’re pushing it away, or denying it. Perhaps you’re treating what’s happening as a huge opportunity. Or perhaps as a curse or problem. Maybe you’re relating to what’s happening with a longing that it be over. Or maybe you’re trying to cling on to it, already mourning the end of it, even before it’s gone.
Another way of talking about this phenomenon is mood. Every mood – anger, joy, love, resentment, frustration, cynicism – opens up a particular kind of relationship to what’s taking place.
Can you see how your relationship to it all shapes so much of your experience and what’s possible for you at any moment?
That each brings forth a distinctive kind of world?
That what’s possible from resentment is different from what’s possible from anger or love? That what’s possible from relating to it all as a curse is different to what’s possible from an orientation of welcome?
Once you see all of this, you can first become an observer of your relationship to everything. Reflective practices can help here – a regular journalling practice and sitting meditation are two that are enormously helpful.
Much more importantly, once you can observe you open up a second possibility of taking responsibility for your relationship to it all.
Because while what’s happening might be just what’s happening, your relationship to it is something in which you’re always a participant.
Or in other words, the world you experience is never just happening but also, inescapably, something you are doing.