I went to our local The Work group Monday evening, for the first time for several weeks, and was reminded of the tension that arises when we hold onto stories of how it should be, how it is, and how they two should align. (Of course, without the third it would be fine, but the third is there as long as the first is there, and even as long as the second is there.)
It is the basic tension in our life, showing up as physical and psychological tension, and also as tension between ourselves and others and the wider world.
Ways of dealing with the tension of what is and what should be
In general, there seems to be four broad ways we deal with the tension.
The first is by trying to not notice, by ignoring it, denying it, distracting ourselves.
The second is by changing our stories, or adding stories that modify the initial ones. We can change our stories about what is, about how it should be, and about the meaning of what is.
The third is to change the situation. (This is also another strategy for changing our story of what is, by changing the situation, we then can tell ourselves a story about it that conforms more with the story of how it should be.)
And the fourth is to inquire into the stories themselves. Are they true? Can I know for sure they are true? What are the consequences of holding onto these stories? Who or what would I be, in the same situation, without them? What are the grain of truth in the reversals of the stories?
When we act in the world, and are still caught up in our stories about how it is and should be and the tension between the two, we often act from reactivity and lack of clarity. When we bring the stories into awareness and inquire into them, finding what is already more true for us, there is naturally access to more clarity, receptivity and responsiveness, which comes out in our actions.
The tension between what already is more true and the beliefs
This reminds of another level of tension, besides the one between stories of how it is and should be: the tension between what is already more true for us, and what we tell ourselves through the stories.
The simplest aspect of what is already more true for us, is the grain of truth in all the reverse stories. (To believe the initial stories we deny the truth in the reverse stories, so the reversal truths naturally tends to be obscured. There is a sense of rigidity, of a fixed view and identity, and of tension between "my" position and the other positions, and between what is already more true for me and the story I hold onto as the one truth. When these other truths are brought into awareness, there is a sense of more fluidity and release of tension.)
Another aspect of what is already more true for me, is the difference between the contracted state of believing in stories (or working hard at believing them), and of who/what I am without those beliefs.
When this is clear, and without the stories, I find myself as Big Mind awakened to itself. And when it is somewhat clear, I find in myself, or myself as, some of the qualities of Big Mind awakened to itself, such as peace, ease, clarity, receptiveness, being home, sense of less or no separation. It is a foretaste of a more clear awakening, a whisper of something still slightly over the horizon. Just enough of a carrot to keep me going.