Inquiry :: The Way it Used to Be

Sometimes, the thought it should be the way it used to be comes up. It can come up for my life as a whole, when I have a story that it is not going well, or it can come up in certain areas of my life, when I have a story that these areas are not going so well – not as well as it used to be, at some point in the past.

My life should be the way it used to be.

  1. Yes (That seems true sometimes, either as a whole or for parts of my life, compared with some times in the past.)
  2. (Cannot know that is true. Also don’t know what is best for my path.)
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?

    Sense of nostalgia. Sadness and grief over having lost what was, and what could have been. There are images of what was and what could have been, and I compare these with images of what is. Dissatisfied with what is. Finding examples of how things are not as they should now, and how they used to be better or could have been better. I blame myself and others for having lost what was, and being in a situation that seems less desireable.

    What is the worst that can happen if I don’t have that thought?

    >> I would forget about how it used to be, be happy with what is, and not strive to change or improve it. I may be complacent.

    What do I get out of that belief?

    Able to blame myself and others for having lost something good, and being in a less desireable situation. Feeling sorrow for myself, and inviting others to do the same.

  4. Who or what would I be without that belief?

    OK with what is, along with what was. Clear. Able to enjoy what is, whatever it is. Able to see it as all part of the same process.

  5. (a) My life shouldn’t be the way it used to be.

    No, the whole world of phenomena is process. Nothing stays the same. Life is flux. So how can I even believe that I should hold onto anything? Also, I can allow myself to enjoy the freshness of it. The newness of it. The sense of adventure.

    (b) I should be the way I used to be.

    Yes, if there were qualities alive in me back then, I can allow them back in the present. I can allow them their life right now.

    (c) I shouldn’t be the way I used to be.

    That is true as well. This is a new situation, which invites some qualities out and others stay more in the background, and that is OK. It is as it has to be.

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