Have you ever heard someone say don’t take it so seriously? Perhaps you have even heard some very wise person discuss not even taking life seriously. As absurd as that might sound to you if you have never heard it before, or contemplated its true meaning, you could find great joy in a second or two, by understanding the full meaning of it. Yes it does take only a second or two but sometimes it takes us decades of sitting in our meditation practice in order to get to the one second experience of profound bliss.
In our modern, Western world, we have learned to mufti-task, to compete, to meet deadlines, to juggle many tasks. We may often get home at night feeling tense, unable to relax and even unable to sleep only to start another frantic day of non-stop work and stress. Despite the demands of our modern lives, many have learned ways to cope with all of that and still remain relaxed and present. One way is to truly not take it seriously. How could you possibly do that and still make a living, keep your job, get good grades at school, manage children, etc., etc.
Not taking it so seriously is a state of mind you can develop during a meditation or contemplation practice. Think of it this way. Pretend you are a reporter from another planet studying modern life here on earth. You are to interview people regarding how they live their lives in the usual day to day manner. Perhaps you start by observing parents and their children in a very busy early morning frantic rush to get ready for work and school. Perhaps you see them on their jobs in offices, in stores, in factories or wherever they work tense, stressed, even angry as they go about their jobs, wanting to get it all over with so they can go home. Now as you imagine doing this, imagine observing yourself. Yes, step outside yourself and look at you. How do you get ready for work or school daily? How are you feeling while you do it? Once you get to your work or daily tasks, how are you going about it? Do you enjoy the people around you? Do you dislike or even hate them? Are you trying to impress them with your superiority? Do you even try to sabotage them or even are openly hostile? Perhaps you feel victimized by others behaving that way to you.
Now change the scene a bit. Take one of these people and see them as they go on a planned vacation to somewhere they have been wanting to go for a long time. Now , how do they get ready to go somewhere? Are they rushed, frantic or angry? Perhaps they are rushing a bit, but in a joyful way. Few are angry or hostile on a vacation to somewhere they want to be. Do you see the difference?
Imagine it is all a movie or play. How would you change the character that plays you. Would you change your behavior? Would you change your reaction to others? Keep in mind you are the director and you can change any of this for that one character, you. But you can’t change the other players/actors, just you. Would you prefer to feel as great on a day to day basis as when you go on a cherished vacation?
Perhaps by now you are getting the picture I am trying to paint here. Did you get some insight into your usual behavior? Are you dedicated to playing a certain “role” in your daily life? If you have identified a role you usually play, do you want to change it? What would you change it to? Perhaps you would be more relaxed, kinder to yourself, kinder to others. Perhaps you would not take so seriously the mean behaviors of others. Perhaps you would stop being mean yourself and others.
Point is we can create ourselves to become the way we want to be. And when we do that, we begin to influence everything around us. Thus we learn that we can change our lives, our world and make it more the way we actually want to be. So how would you prefer to create a world to live in for yourself, your children, others you love? Would you want it tough, competitive, mean? Or would you prefer a world that is kind, fun and joyful to live in. The choice is yours.