Monday 18 April 2022

Thought Picnic: How our filters stymie our options

Nothing is for certain

Some things get me thinking about how we have great expectations for encounters in chance situations, setting up stringent requirements to be met, passed on as preferences that invariably lead to disappointment when the options we are presented with give us no choices to select from.

Much as we delude ourselves with the idea that we are open-minded and liberal, in practical terms, we are usually more conservative than would admit to ourselves about what we call preferences. The self-aggrandised level of myopia we select and live with eventually deprives us of the broader landscape of beauty that is laid before us.

Not everyone wins

Too many times, we behave like prospectors at a gold rush, highly optimistic that there is a fortune to be found, ready to till and turn the dirt for that elusive gem and coming up empty-handed after a long day of toil. Yet, we are undeterred hoping that the next day, or the next, or the one after would present in the eventuality that goal for which we might end all toil and witness a different outcome.

Over time, reality sets in that not all of us would be lucky, some might find a gem or two but the rest would steadily be approached by disillusionment as the steady erosion of optimism gives way to a truth we have batted away from the onset. That we arrived with bluster, we may not leave in a cluster, but at a point in stealth, we carry our story back to whence we came either to keep a new found grasp of reality or wait for another dreamy adventure to naught.

Experience teaches hard lessons

I see this is too many places in the quest for the many things that we seek to give life a sense of meaning and being, in career searches, in the need for companionship, or just the momentary fulfilment of lust, and there are many gold rush mines we can visit for which our desires and curiosity would never be sated.

One of life’s greatest lessons is one of contentment, an appreciation of what you have as opposed to what you desire or want, knowing from immemorial that you have a bird in hand rather than the two in the bush, or to paraphrase another saying, if you cannot have what you want; love what you already have.

Appreciate what you have got

Indeed, I need to constantly reassess my priorities and appreciate the many blessings that surround me daily, in the love of my life and our ultimate desire to set up home together. Whilst I would love things to be easier, that easier option may not materialise and we would have to make the best of what we have got for we are not in an impossible situation, we are just somewhere between the dream and the reality that would set things in motion for the next stage of our lives.

Sometimes, I have slapped myself on the cheek to clear my vision, a kind of reset that is usually not as necessary as it seems, if you have given yourself to some reflection and introspection. I have a clear idea of where I want to be, I just need to work at getting there sooner rather than later. Take down the filters and see things as they are, then in the clarity of that vision and perspective do not let the perfect get in the way of the good that you end up with nothing at all.

Be circumspect and realistic with your expectations such that you can manage your disappointments beyond disillusionment, you yourself the instruments of hope that can see beyond the mountain ranges that appear to make your journey an impossible quest to new accomplishments.

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