I Didn’t See This Coming

Millennial Mom's face, eyes tightened in frustration.
I Didn’t See This Coming, 2017, oil on canvas, 121.9 x 121.9 cm, 48 x 48 in


One of the basic laws of life is the constant of change.   Living in fear and resistance, it can be too much.  Lack of care for psychological stress can tip one into despair.

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

— Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy), John Lennon


Our culture teaches us we can get what we want if only we try harder, sacrificing to get where we want to be.  Today’s norms have us moving away from family support,  over-committing ourselves so we can enjoy all life has to offer, and working too much to make this happen.  We push and push and push, convinced we can control outcomes.

You can’t always get what you want.  But if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.

— You Can’t Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones

But believing we are in control can be shattering when we are hit with the big losses.   It is positive to have good intentions, to make goals and to take action toward those goals, but still…outcomes are uncertain.  We are not in control of how things will unfold.  And the sooner we can make peace with that, the better our chances in navigating whatever murky waters lie ahead.  We won’t see everything coming.  And eventually we will all face unpreventable loss.  For some of us, it will be again and again.

Unpredictability and lack of control can lead to learned hopelessness.

— Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Robert M. Sapolsky

Until we get it.  Surrender.  Willingness, faith, and hope, in spite of loss, where we can accept whatever arises, and take action.  Rather than losing ourselves in the problem, focusing on why this shouldn’t be happening, we live in the solution, asking what action can we take to move forward in a positive direction.


I close with a quote from Jeff Kōber, vedic meditation teacher, as he says it perfectly:

“I think that many of us have been taught to suffer; taught that suffering is what we deserve; taught, even, that suffering is in some way a virtue. Those who can suffer in silence, who can continue on in spite of every reason to quit, these are our heroes.

Pain exists. In life, it is a given. But suffering is another story. Suffering might be described as the pain we feel about being in pain. It is the self-obsession that sets in when we cannot get out of the pain, cannot see past the pain, when all our thoughts are engaged with our pain and what our pain says about ourselves and the world. We call this speculation. And speculation leads only to suffering. Ever.

Suffering is not a virtue. If it is presented as such, it is only because the person doing the presenting doesn’t know how to get out of it, doesn’t know how to end suffering.

And how do we end suffering? By finding our own way of experiencing this ‘transcendent mode of consciousness,’ and connecting with Source, with the truth of our Being, bathing in the healing waters of consciousness Itself; and then by getting present. Bringing ourselves out of our speculating mind to right here, right now, again and again and again, as many times as it takes.”


I Didn’t See This Coming and other works from the Millennial Mom collection will exhibit September-October, 2019, at Capitol Theatre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

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