Today I almost cried over spilled milk, literally. I splurged on fancy organic milk and as I was walking through the door to my home it fell to the ground, broke open, and spilled everywhere. It wasn’t just a trivial problem, it was the trivial problem. Yet, that didn’t matter to my thoughts which easily picked up on why this was an issue I should be upset about. When I am easily upset by small things it is a reminder that I’ve forgotten who I truly am, my infinite true self.
When I try to remember the problems I had a year ago today, or even last Sunday, I have no inkling of what they were. Can you remember what problems you had last year? Can you remember the problems you had five years ago, or ten? The only problems I think about are those I am experiencing now, which will soon fade with the passage of days and be replaced with new issues to be bothered about. The situations themselves are not problems, they are how they are.
Problems are created by thoughts about a situation. Suffering, and negative emotions, are created by judgement of an experience.
It is easy to see how spilled milk is only a problem when I make it so through my thoughts. It can be more difficult to watch experiences without judgment when the stakes are high. I am grateful for this passage from Swami Satchidananda’s Weekly Words of Wisdom, because it is a great reminder to stop grasping at outer solutions for peace and happiness and remember who we really are:
“The teaching in the Bible, just as we find in the Bhagavad Gita is: Don’t look for the fruits of your own actions. You are made in God’s own image. You don’t need to look for fruits from outside. But Adam forgot that he was God’s image. And forgetting is what you call avidya, or ignorance. You forgot your truth. The minute you forget it then you look for it from outside. So Adam thought, ‘Ah, by eating the apple I’ll be happy.’ That was said to be the first ‘sin.’ Eating the apple was not the first sin. Forgetting his true nature was the original sin. Once you forget your true nature, you will commit face many, many problems. So, remember who you are.” (Swami Satchidananda)