We all want life to be a certain way. We want the conditions to be just so, and life doesn’t always cooperate. Maybe it does for awhile, which makes us want to hold on tight to how things are, but then things change. So sometimes it’s like the monkeys are dropping the balls where we don’t want them, and what can we do?
Often we react by blaming ourselves or others or the situation. We might become aggressive. Or perhaps we feel victimized and resign. Or sometimes we soothe ourselves with extra food or drink. But clearly, none of these reactions are helpful.
If we are to find any peace, if we are to find freedom, what we need to do is learn to pause and say, “Okay. This is where the monkeys dropped the ball. I’ll play it from here, as well as I’m able.”
So how do we do that?
What if you pause right now, and take a moment to be quiet. Can you think of a place in your life where things are not cooperating with how you would like them to be? Whatever unfortunate place the monkeys have dropped a ball in your life, bring your focus to that. It could be something that happens in a relationship with another person, where you get reactive. What would it mean to play the ball here? If you could tap into your deepest wisdom, your true compassion, how would you like to respond to these circumstances?
One of the great teachings in spiritual life is this: It doesn’t matter what is happening. What matters is how we respond. How we respond is what determines our happiness and peace of mind.
So how might you respond with presence, when you find the monkeys have dropped the ball in a difficult spot?