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Stop Arguing with What Is!

by bevbarnes on April 12, 2012

Where I live in Northern Quebec, spring consists of balmy hot days followed by snow storms. It’s tumultuous. I don’t fight it anymore. If I wake up to a blanket of snow, like today, I say, “Oh it snowed” and I dress appropriately. If I wake up to the brilliant sunshine and a summer breeze, I say “Oh its warm today” and I dress appropriately.

Byron Katie, author and spiritual guru would call this “loving what is.”
We spend much of our time fighting what is, arguing about the way it should be.

He should listen to me.
It should be warm by now.
My business should be up and running.
I should know what my niche is by now.
My boss should know that he is short sighted.
I should know what my passions are.
He should clean up his room.

Having a litany of “shoulds” running through your head is exhausting. You are constantly fighting against what is. 

Deciding to accept what is, allows you to be in the present moment and not stuck in your head. It feels like relief. Some people believe that their job in life is to constantly improve. They believe that if they don’t focus on what is wrong (according to them) then they are ignoring the problem.

But is that true?

When you focus on what isn’t working, does that make it better?  Not in my experience.  My experience is the absolute opposite.

When you focus on what is working, that’s when things turn around, or the former “problem” dissolves and becomes insignificant.

The first few years that I lived in Northern Quebec, I spent all my time arguing about the way the weather should be.  I was in a funk checking out the weather everywhere else – finding evidence that we had the worst weather on the planet.

Then I got so tired of myself that I just stopped.

The magical discovery that I didn’t expect was once I stopped complaining, I started appreciating. It turns out that living in a place where the winters are frigid but sunny is much more fun than living in a grey temperate climate. It turns out that hot, dry summers in open spaces are way more fun that humid unbearable city summers.

Who would’ve thunk it?

Stop arguing with what is. It’ll transform your life.

I love hearing from you. What are you ready to stop complaining about? Share it below on the blog.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Elle April 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

Well said, Bev! I’m not gonna mention on my “shoulds”, it will just get me started. 🙂


Bev Barnes April 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Hi Elle. I just got back from a hot vacation in Mexico. Now I really appreciate a grey rainy day 🙂 Try listing all your “shoulds”, even just for you, and you’ll start uncovering what really drives your behavior. Then decide if you want any of that to be true. If you don’t, just dump them. The hardest part is finding your hidden beliefs.


Zarina April 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I stopped “shouldoing” a few weeks ago and what you say Bev is absolutely true. Things started going the way I wanted just by putting my focus on what works. So when I have a relaps, I just pass on to the something positive.


Bev Barnes April 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm

That makes me laugh Zarina. Sometimes you don’t have to “do” you just have to “be”. It sounds like a cliché but it’s not. Nice to hear from you!


Janelle April 18, 2012 at 1:52 am

Thanks Bev! This post made me think of the 360 degree evaluations that corporate companies often have employees go through, and once you’re evaluated anonymously by every colleague, you have a whole list of “should be better at’s” to focus on. I’ve seen people cry for days over those things, and often wished they could turn those evaluations around to find what gifts other employees see in each other, rather than what needs to be “fixed.”


Bev Barnes April 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm

You are so right Janelle. It’s nice to focus on what’s working well for a change!


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