It is so easy to get distracted in this life, and let’s be honest, there are some fantastic distractions, like Agents of Shield or a European bakery window full of tasty delights. Most often for me, though, it’s the inside of my own head.
My brain has been obsessed with the doing end of things recently, and I don’t know about yours, but my brain can be very convincing. I’ve been walking around for several weeks acting as if the voice in my head were describing reality.
I was talking with a monk once who said that his focus for the year was to let God love him. He was probably in his mid fifties at the time—it’s hard to tell with monks—so he’d been doing this pretty intense God thing for at least twenty years and apparently still hadn’t mastered it.
That is reality. That is what doingness mind distracts me from with its promises of fulfillment if only I can cross all the items off the list on time. Never mind that new tasks continually pop onto the bottom of the list, appearing out of the ether with no effort on my part.
Perhaps it is not surprising that we approach life this way. Our educational system is more or less structured this way and so are our jobs. And to some extent so are we. Human beings seem to be internally propelled forward. We choose—or perhaps are attracted to—different directions, but most of us are seeking something most of the time.
While we are certainly capable of wandering off in the wrong direction, maybe the bigger problem arises when, unlike that monk, we become convinced that we can find whatever it is we’re looking for.