why is it hard to go with the flow of life

Why is it Hard To Go With the Flow of Life?

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by The Unbounded Thinker

From time immemorial, spiritual teachers and philosophers have encouraged us to go with the flow of life. Lao Tzu, the Tao Te Ching’s author said, “The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. He lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle,” and Cleanthes, a Greek Stoic philosopher, said, “The Fates lead the willing, but drag the unwilling.”

Such philosophers believed that going with the flow of life guarantees a peaceful and happy life.

Most of us agree with their teaching. However, we find it hard to go with the flow of life and we are sometimes tempted to believe that it is impossible to align ourselves with life’s flow.

Defining going with the flow

I think we find it hard to go with the flow of life because we don’t know what it means.

Going with the flow of life means knowing what you can control, doing your best and letting the universe handle what you can’t control. It means trusting life and making peace with whatever is happening that you cannot control.

It does not mean becoming passive, purposeless, and refusing to change your circumstances when it is possible to change them. It does not mean avoiding expressing sadness when things do not go your way. It means accepting rather than resisting the events of life and being willing to move with the moment by changing your approach and priorities based on whatever is happening.

For example, when you lose your job, you go with the flow by

  • Expressing negative emotions and feelings connected to the job loss in a healthy way.
  • Accepting that you cannot fully control the occurrence,
  • Figuring out the next step.

Why it is hard to go with the flow of life

Despite understanding the meaning, you might still find it hard to go with the flow because:

You think you can control everything

The delusional belief that we can control everything is a major reason why we cannot accept life’s flow. We must understand that our thoughts and actions do not create our entire reality, they only shape reality. We must also realize that although individual consciousness alters reality, the collective consciousness affects it to a greater extent. This understanding allows us to accept life as it is by avoiding self-blame when things don’t go our way despite taking the right actions and thinking positively.

You think you know everything

You struggle to go with the flow of life because you believe you know everything. You have somehow convinced yourself that you can predict how events will unfold and you think that you know what will make you happy. This false sense of certainty keeps you rigid: it prevents you from being flexible and open to the unexpected. It prevents you from knowing that the life-force energy is more intelligent than you and it knows what’s good and bad for you.

Maybe life knows that the car that you really want and you are frustrated that you haven’t gotten it could have caused an early death. Maybe life knows that the spouse you want will be a great impediment to your progress. How many times have we longed for something, for instance, a spouse or a job, only to find that once attained, it becomes a major source of stress in our lives?

If you realize that life knows what’s better for you than you do, it will be much easier to go with its flow.

You are overly attached to material possessions

The over-attachment to material possessions makes it hard for you to go with the flow of life because it ties your sense of happiness and security to external objects.

It is almost impossible to accept a life event that negatively affects your possessions if you are overly attached to them because the over-attachment results in the belief that nothing other than your possessions can make you happy.

Generally, over-attachment to material possessions eventually prevents you from going with the flow of life by resulting in a constant fear of loss that prevents you from fully becoming present and realizing life’s richness beyond material possessions.

You don’t know that happiness and inner peace come from within

You believe that happiness and peace of mind are determined by external events. Therefore, you resist life when it brings unfavorable circumstances and only accept it as it is when it brings favorable circumstances.

The realization that your perception determines what is favorable and unfavorable can make it easier to go with the flow of life by making you know that happiness and peace of mind are largely influenced by an internal factor.

How to go with the flow of life

You can go with the flow of life by studying nature to understand how the river of life flows. Studying nature will make you realize that life is full of ups and downs. For instance, in a particular period, the water sources dry up and grass dries out, leaving animals with few sources of food. In another period, heavy rains occur, rivers flood, and animals experience an abundant supply of food.

Studying nature also helps you realize that life does not allow animals to suffer for long. Weak and injured animals seldom suffer for a long period because they become easy prey for predators or they are quickly killed by rivals.

Understanding such facts about life makes it easy to go with the flow of life by encouraging you to accept whatever happens. If hard times come, you know it is just a season, and you realize that they will end since good times are also a major part of the flow of life, and they will also come. If you suffer in one way or another, you easily accept the situation knowing that life never prolongs suffering as it always finds a way to end it.

Surrender to life

Besides studying nature, examine your life and that of your loved ones and you’ll notice that life has particular rhythms and patterns that you can align yourself with. One major pattern you’ll notice is that life brings the best and worst moments when you least expect them. You align yourself with this pattern by constantly reminding yourself that life is unpredictable and by moving with its unpredictability and joining its dance.

Generally, examining your life and that of other humans will make it easier for you to go with the flow of life by showing you that it is futile to resist change and that inner peace and happiness only come when you surrender to the flow of life and realize that the only thing certain in life is its uncertainty.

I wish you all the best in the journey of life. May you RECEIVE the grace you need to go with the flow of life.


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