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Does It Really Matter?

"The only difference between a wise man and a fool

is that the wise man knows he's playing."

Fritz Pearls

We've all been there.

We find ourselves facing a seemingly impossible situation that has been building for weeks, or even years, and struggling with all the possible outcomes that may or may not occur. As we find ourselves becoming increasingly heavy and serious, there may come a moment of clarity, right in the middle of the suffering and confusion, where a question arises that brings our mind to a complete stop.

"Does this really matter?" we ask ourselves, and all at once we realize that, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter at all.

You might then find yourself laughing at this realization, and the absurdity of the mental torture you have been putting yourself through. In that one moment of laughter and relief you 'lighten up', and all of that heaviness you've been carrying around with you begins to fall away. You see clearly, if only for a moment, that nothing ultimately matters in the way the mind thinks it does, and in this realization there is freedom and joy. In fact, the only thing that ultimately matters is our feeling of freedom and joy! As all the great sages have reminded us, we tend to care about the things that, in the end, matter very little; while we often overlook the things that really matter in this life.

When facing any kind of challenge that seems overwhelming, remember to take a refreshing breath, and bring the great question, 'Does this really matter'? to your mind. Take a moment to allow yourself to gain some perspective. If you still feel a great heaviness, anger or seriousness around the situation, ask yourself if it will matter a year from now. How about 5 years? Contemplate deeply that whatever difficult challenges you have gone through in the past have eventually dissolved and vanished, and whatever you are going through now will do the same. In this way we bring a lighter perspective to life, and with that fresh perspective, we may find ourselves actually enjoying this temporary role that we are playing in this grand drama of life.

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