When Good Things Happen

What I find exciting about not knowing what is coming next in life is the guarantee that we will continue to act, and that new things will happen to us every moment of our day. Because the state of being is by default a state of action (by virtue of the fact that we are alive, we are automatically engaged in some activity), we are continually moving through space and time in coordination with the clock.

I frequently reflect on good things that have happened in my life. Though our brains tend to assume we cause these things to happen, or that we generate them, in reality this is not the case. Things come out of nowhere. Whether it is a result of the phone ringing, an email appearing, an invitation from someone, or an idea suddenly popping into our head, right before something happens we have no idea that it will. Relationships, jobs, hobbies, friends and good news all come by themselves. There is just something about the nature of thought that takes credit the moment something new arises. This is only a trick of the mind.

So what is reassuring to me is that we don’t have to do anything to make good things happen. Usually, when we think of having no control over our life we are only considering the bad things that can occur. But it is important to remember that we cannot prevent the good either! This is a very counterintuitive but uplifting awareness. We believe we must “effort up” to make good things happen but the body moves through its activities by itself, involuntarily. As stated above, if we are alive then we are automatically in some activity (even if it’s not one we wish to be in). The clock moves by itself and we don’t need effort to be carried into the next moment. It is only an illusion that we have to think up some solution or action to figure out how to move ourselves forward in life.

We have a burning curiosity about what is coming next in our personal story. The difficult part is that we have to wait to find out as this we cannot change. However, the inner knowledge and ability to remember that we don’t have to do something to make something happen can be extremely liberating. For proof of this we can make a list of good things that have happened in the past. It is interesting to try to recall what was on our mind right before something good happened. We can remind ourself that at the time, the thing that occurred was truly a surprise, literally emerging out of nowhere. If we quiet our system down mentally and physically, we can see that we actually move organically from one moment to the next, as we are suddenly just in our next activity. If this instance happens to have us meeting a new person who eventually becomes an important partner, suddenly seeing the right job in a newspaper, bumping into a neighbor who offers us a great deal on a used car, or experiencing a new idea like, “I think I’d like to have a baby!” then we can see that the good thing presented by itself, like magic!

There is of course no guarantee that good things will happen to us, but most of us can think back to things that we were pleased about in our past and recognize that they appeared spontaneously (even though our mind may not have registered it that way). It is true that bad things also happen beyond our control, but we can add to our mental repertoire the fact that when good things happen, they happen without our doing. The fact that we are always physically moving with the progression of time ensures that we will encounter surprises and ways of things transforming that we could never predict.

Because of our physical relationship to time and space, in reality we are always being moved from one moment to the next. The illusion that we are making this happen is what makes us feel like we could get stuck in time, or in some uncomfortable situation. The only thing to do is realize that this phenomenon happens by itself and we could not prevent good things from occurring (if they are going to) even if we wanted to. Since we like promises and guarantees, we can know that as long as we are alive on this planet this fact will be true. The only work is to stay with the awareness that combats the thought pattern that prohibits us from remembering this truth.


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