- Thoughts for inspired living

Echoes And Shadows Are Mere Traces Of Reality - Grasshopper

Imagine someone hearing their echo in the foothills of Colorado and saying, "the canyon is talking to me." We use that logic all the time when we live in the shadows of reality.

The only person I know of whose shadow had a mind of its own was fictional - Peter Pan. It's a wonderful fantasy that has no basis in reality.
How silly would it be to believe that Tiger Woods' shadow made the putt? After all, it made the same movements as Tiger, so who's to say it didn't make the putt? We believe shadows are casting us every time we airbrush reality to fit our thinking. The goal of this lunacy is to make reality bite sized so we can wrap our intellect around it.
The thinking is: If we can analyze and understand reality, we can control it. That philosophy has never worked but we continue to employ it every day.
We look at the remnants of reality and chose to believe that it's reality itself. That's like believing the vapor trail of an airplane is the airplane.
Our thinking about reality is always an afterthought. Reality happens and then we have a thought about it. Mistaking our thoughts about reality for reality itself, is what makes life so difficult.
The words "reason" and "because" are the first signs we are one step removed from reality. We are its shadow. "The reason that happened to me is because blah, blah, blah." Here's the position we never seem to come to - reality is not reasonable.
Then when we have God enter the mix, we know we have divorced ourselves completely from reality. "The reason that happened is because God is testing me." You are listening to an echo. When people are removed from reality, they cannot recognize reality.
Reminds me of a story . . .
I worked for a radio station that was going under. All the signs were there for anyone willing to look reality in the eye. It was on life support. My recommendation was to stop pouring money into it and make whatever money we could with the station while it continued to breathe.
I further recommended that we take the saved money and put it in to our other station that had a much better chance of thriving and surviving. It was a reality based recommendation.
The reality was ignored. The echoes of past greatness were bandied about and the idea of "giving up" was not in their vocabulary. The only word missing from their vocabulary was "reality." It was one of the main reasons I decided to leave and take another job.
The radio station continued to spend heavily with consultant fees and promotional dollars. It continued to fail. People were fired and their replacements continued putting money into a shadow reality. The station died and was sold for pennies on the dollar.
Anytime you make an attempt to explain away reality, reality will bite you in the butt.
Byron Katie is a wonderful author and gives us all a firsthand look at reality. When someone says to her, "It shouldn't be this way," she says something like the following: "How I know it should be this way, is because this is the way that it is."
Reality doesn't have versions.
We set ourselves up for more pain and disastrous outcomes when we rail against reality.
Recognizing reality is simple but not easy. The simplicity is in the Buddha's statement - "Everything is as it should be." The hard part is not believing that.
Nothing can be any other way than the way it is. That's not defeatism; that's reality.
That doesn't mean that things can't change. They can. They have the best chance for change when reality is accepted. Once reality is acknowledged, we are presented with more options. What keeps the options in the shadows is believing something is what it isn't.
Whatever is present in your life "should" be there. Why? Because it's a reality. Are you poor, struggling, lonely, miserable, sick, unlucky, frustrated, unfulfilled, etc?
The minute you attempt to explain it away, the deeper you get into the shadows. The minute you accept it for the reality it is, you cease the echoing explanations and explore the options.
Shadows and echoes have no options.
When you react, you have no options. You are echoing your conditioning.
The gift of free will - recognizing and responding - is the only way that creates options when faced with reality.
Reality is the one constant you can count on. It will always be with us even though we may pretend it's not there. How well you respond to it makes life simpler and more manageable.
A dose of reality - It's good for what ails you.  It brings you out of the shadows and keeps the echoes off in the distance.
All the best,

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