Second chances. That is the theme of the current season of the TV show Survivor. So, everyone playing this time around has been on the show at some point before. One of the participants is Spencer; a very smart logical player who seems so nice. He has found himself struggling, as he did the last time he was on, with his social game. His mind sees so clearly the logical moves to the game that he loses touch with the people he is playing with; they are merely pawns on his island checkerboard. He recently became aware of this flaw and immediately set out to change. He told one of the players that he doesn't become very emotional is his everyday life, either.
"Not feeling emotions creates the illusion that everything is OK." "How We Choose to be Happy"
Not feeling is a form of illusory control. If Spencer focuses only on the manipulative side of the game and the challenges, is he wholeheartedly playing the game of Survivor? Because the social connections are equally as important.
If Spencer opens up to people and allows feeling in, he risks getting hurt. If he stays closed off, he feel he controls the hurt option but he cannot enjoy connection. Buddhism looks at emotions in three ways: attachment, aversion and neutral. I f we befriend someone and it all goes well , we become attached to that enjoyment. If we befriend someone and it goes bad, we now have an aversion to the person so we will avoid them. If we befriend someone with the idea they are who they are and my reactions are just what they are, I remain neutral.
"I'm free when I allow my life to unfold. As soon as I restrict myself to known outcomes, I've got a noose around my neck." Adele Goldstone
Spenser's noose is named Control. What is the name of your noose?
"If you understand, things are just as they are… If you do not understand, things are just as they are." Zen proverb
"Life happens. No matter how hard we try to control it the Universe marches on with or without our acceptance. As human beings we attach our lives to expectations and outcomes. This creates suffering in our lives as we cling to this illusion of permanence. We expect, we suffer. We attach, we suffer. We ask questions such as “Why is my life like this?” Or, “Why did this happen to me?”
Asking these questions and expecting life to be a certain way is fighting the Universe in its entirety. No wonder life feels heavy, and difficult. We struggle and resist to the very end. We tell our stories over and over again about how much pain we have and how we wish things were a certain way. Life is the way it is no matter our thoughts or emotions. It just is. Our suffering is a direct correlation to our resistance to this truth." Thomas D. Craig
"The conclusion will take care of itself." How We Choose to be Happy