When waters are disturbed, let them settle

When waters are disturbed, let them settle

I’d like to share with you a story about the Buddha that I once heard years ago. One that struck a cord with me and I’ve found helpful in life. May it serve you as well as it serves me:

Once Buddha and some of his disciples were travelling when they came to a body of water (a lake or a river, I forget, though honestly that’s not important). Buddha asked one of his disciples to get him some water to drink. The disciple went to the water only to find the water was muddy and not safe to drink (some person either walked through or pulled some heavy cart through the water earlier and stirred up the mud at the bottom). Thus he couldn’t bring back any water for Buddha to drink. About an hour later, Buddha again asked his disciple if he could bring back some water to drink. The disciple again went down to the water but still found it too muddy for drinking. So he again returned and told Buddha the water wasn’t safe for drinking. Some time later (I forget how long, another hour or more I believe) Buddha again asked his disciple to please fetch some water for drinking. The disciple went back to the water and found that the mud had settled, the water was now clear at it was safe to drink. He filled a pot with water and took it back to the Buddha. Buddha looked at the water and told his disciple “see what you did to make the water clean? You let it be. You let it settle down and now you have clear water. Your mind is like that too. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time and it will settle on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen it is effortless. Having peace of mind is not a strenuous job. It is an effortless process, so keep your mind cool and have a great life ahead.”

I bring this up because of some recently disturbed waters in my mind. Thanks to a good friend of mine I met in LinkedIn, Deborah Aderemi, I’ve recently begun marketing and promotion for my books. Shortly afterwards, I was being contacted by people on Instagram wanting to review my books. This naturally got me excited at the prospect of more book sales and more royalties coming in as many people were saying how interested they were in checking out my books. Needless to say I was slightly crushed when I logged into Tellwell and noticed my sales report showed virtually no sales for my books over the summer. I told myself that these things take time, however there was still that lingering doubt in the back of my mind. That doubt that points out that just because someone is interested in my books, doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to buy a copy (especially now when inflation has made many non essential items luxuries that we simply can’t afford).

This brings me to the next part of my story. I’ve been without a car since June as my old car (a 2006 Chevy Malibu) had brake problems and was no longer safe to drive (and my mechanic couldn’t replace the parts as they’re no longer made). I had already told my mechanic to scrap the car and asked him to buy me a newer used car, which he did. However between inflation driving up the price of used cars, not to mention having to once again spend money on car insurance, plus other expenses in life I was worrying about how I’m going to afford just being able to live. This is where the story of the Buddha that I mentioned above comes into play. The waters of my mind were disturbed. I began worrying about “How can I afford this? How will I pay off that?” Most of us have gone through such problems in life, often multiple times. The simple fact is worrying about the problem won’t make it go away. If anything it’ll only make the problem worse. We all know that stress can lead to health problems, which in turn can manifest into physical ailments, which in turn result in us getting sick, missing work which in turn makes us lose money and thus only compounds the problem. After a few hours the mud in my mind settled and I realized that by putting in some overtime at work, asking for my vacation pay and if necessary not paying off the full amount on my credit card bills will help deal with the financial issues. It won’t solve the problems in the short term but in the long run things will work out. As for book sales? Again it will happen in due time.

The problem with our society especially now with the internet is we expect instant results. We want it all and we want it right now! Life doesn’t work that way. Whether were talking recovering from an illness or injury, suffering a personal tragedy like the death of a loved one or a messy breakup/divorce, or even financial matters like profits/sales, things work out in their own time. The universe doesn’t care if the results aren’t fast enough, or good enough for us. “Good” and “bad” are subjective terms. If something is “bad” in our lives, it’s because we’ve chosen to label it as “bad”. Sometimes even tragic events happen for a reason, because said event in our live isn’t serving us thus we need the “bad” so we can see how it isn’t serving us and if necessary remove it from our lives. This in turn can lead to better things in the future. Hence the phrase “a blessing in disguise”.

Thus I’ve chosen to share this with all of you as a reminder that you have the power to decide whether you live in a friendly world, or a hostile one. While we can’t control what happens around us, or what other people do to us, we can control how we react to it. So you can either worry, or get mad at how bad things are in your life; but ask yourself this, “How will that solve my problems?” As I’ve often said, strong emotions have a nasty habit of clouding one’s judgment.

Thank you for your time, feel free to share this with others, or feel free to dismiss everything I’ve said, it’s your choice. Just remember your choices determine your reality. Choose what serves you best! Namaste!

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