Aspiring Wise Fool


Until the other day I had not heard about a principle of a life called alignment.  I think I knew about the concept, but I had never heard it discussed as a formal life principle

The greatest problems we face are caused as we resist “what is.”  Let’s say that I don’t like the amount of money I have–so I spend more by using credit cards.  Or perhaps I don’t like the fact that I tire more easily than my friends–so I continue to stay up late and overexert until I become sick. In each instance the problem is a lack of respect for alignment.  Alignment is the process of bringing our behaviors and actions into harmony with our circumstances–which in turns creates a stable path of least resistance.

Not everyone agrees with this. Our society teaches that we should change any circumstances we don’t like–and I agree with one exception.  It’s one thing to start the process of changing your circumstances–but another to make commitments and promises before the circumstances change.  It’s one thing to decide that you need to make more money and another to spend money you don’t have in anticipation that you’ll have more of it at some later date. Living in alignment does not require that we like our context or make plans for changing it; rather, it means that we work with our circumstances in a reasonable way until such time as we can create a new momentum for change.

For instance, the organization I work for has, in times past, spent more money then it brought in as revenue.  Of course this overspending caused the organization to come to a tipping point where it had to lay off people and cut vital programs and services or face certain demise. I’m certain the organization never intended to live beyond its means–it probably thought it was taking a calculated risk.  But, before long, it was living beyond its means and creating an uncertain future.

And this is the point, we suffer when our behaviors are not in alignment with reality.  Reality is a harsh mistress. It requires that we live according to its dictates–not ours–or face painful consequences.  But be of good cheer! Living in alignment is a way of saying “Yes” to the universe!  When we affirm what comes our way we live happier lives–and even happier lives as we create new circumstances.  We discover that many of the things we thought we needed aren’t really that important.  We find that we can have a wonderful life filled with many good things–even if it seems we have less than some of the people about us.  In the end, our happiness does not consist of having more things than our friends–it comes from mastering life on its terms and learning the lessons we need to from those experiences.