Today we ask that you let go of needing things to happen in a certain way.

Let go of needing things to happen in a certain way.

Needing things to happen in a certain way is a recipe for misery and suffering.

The more a person is attached to life unfolding in a certain way, the more he suffers.

Imagine going on a trip to another country with a strong need for things to unfold in a certain way — the plane flight just so, everything going according to the schedule and itinerary, perfect weather, etc.  You can see that this is a foolish way to travel, and that such a person will probably wind up quite miserable.

Life itself is like a journey, a trip.  The more you need everything to be “just so” in order for you to be okay, the more unhappy you shall be.

Life has a way of wreaking havoc with one’s carefully laid plans and schemes.  Nothing goes according to the itinerary, and there are always unexpected storms and roadblocks.  

The good traveler is open to unforeseen twists and turns in the road.  While he may have a destination in mind, he is not really so attached to getting there in any particular way.  He is open to unexpected adventures.  Roadblocks, bad weather, delays — these are embraced as opportunities to stop places one would otherwise pass, to see things one would not otherwise see, to meet people one would not otherwise meet.

The good liver of life is like a good traveler.  He may have destinations in mind, but each day he is open to unexpected adventures that may detour him from the main road.  He does not expect his journey to unfold in a certain way, everything just so, everything going according to the schedule and itinerary.

Every day, from the moment you awaken to the moment you surrender to sleep, is its own journey.  If you desperately need the events in your day to be “just so,” if you demand that things unfold as you plan and expect them to, then you will be a miserable person today.

And that is how many people live life, of course.  Like travelers who complain about everything — the plane flight, the lodgings, the food, the weather, the delays.  Meanwhile the trip is happening, but they find no joy in it.

Here is a truth of the life experience: the more tightly you cling to expectations of how things should be, the more likely it is that things will go awry and defy your expectations.

In other words, the more you need something to happen in a certain way, the more fixed and rigid you are in your expectations, the more likely it is that life will not give you what you want.

Whereas if you are more open and loose in your desires — for example, if you simply wish to experience joy today, without being specific as to the how or what or why of it — then it is very likely that this wish will be fulfilled.  

Does this make sense? 

If a person says to the universe, I can only be happy if I get a red sports car, then that person is doomed.  Even if the person gets a red sports car, he will not be happy.

If a person says to the universe, I wish to feel joy today, and I am open to this coming from anywhere, I am open to surprises — this will come to pass.  It may be a very small thing, but it will come to pass.

That is what it means to let go of things happening in a certain way.

If someone says, I can only be happy in this life if I marry someone and have at least two children, a boy and a girl, and live in a nice house with nice things, then this person is doomed.  Even if he gets all of those things, he is doomed.

If someone says, I wish to experience joy in this life, and I am open to the unexpected — good energy will flow.

So that is why wise men say that attachment is the cause of suffering.  It is the attachment to projections of future outcomes, the desperate craving for things to happen in a certain way, that causes unnecessary suffering in life.

Be a good traveler on the road of life.  Travel light.  Be open to the unexpected.  Know that plans and itineraries will fall to pieces, anticipate detours and delays.  Don’t cringe from those experiences, for often that is where the juiciest part of the journey lies.

Let go, let go, let go.