As we wade through a maze of options and decisions, each can take on a weight of importance.
We are trained from an early age that to get ahead in life we must “pass the test” — in school, career, life.
Typically, the more heavily invested we are in an outcome — in terms of time, money, energy, or other resources — the more serious we become in relation to it. We may put a lot of pressure on ourselves to “get it right.”
It’s easy to take yourself too seriously.
As we try to control all parameters of a situation to create the result we desire, we create our own suffering. We resist life as it is because it’s not how we want it to be.
Inevitably, things will not go as we planned them. Our plan is irrelevant; there is a higher plan at work.
More accurately, there is a higher plan at play.
One school of ancient yoga philosophy is the concept of Lila, play. In essence it is the belief that everything that we experience in our life is a divine drama. We are all pretending not to be enlightened; everything in front of us is maya, illusion.
It’s honorable to want to do things the “right” way, but does anyone even know what that means?
Nobody has it all figured out. We are all just playing a cosmic game.
This poem by the ancient Sufi poet Hafitz reminds me that the idea that life is serious is a choice we make. We can also choose to play.
Tripping Over Joy
What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be so serious.