Eckhart Tolle talks about “the Pain Gap”. The Pain Gap exists when we wish for something different than what reality is. Every time we wish for something to be different than it actually is, we have instant pain. “I wish my spouse were more supportive” “I wish my income was higher” “I wish I was thinner”. Those are all set ups for pain. Because right now, things are exactly as they are. Tolle says to have peace of mind in our lives, we need to live in the present moment and accept what is. That doesn’t mean we stay in the same place/body/job/marriage forever. It simply means that right this second we need to accept reality.
When we do that, our mind becomes clear and we can see if: a) we are going to accept our [weight, job, spouse] 100% for what it is and live happily or b) come up with a plan to change it.
Tolle used being stuck in the mud as an example. He says if you were stuck, in mud, you wouldn’t stay for too long saying “I wish this wasn’t mud” “I wish I wasn’t stuck right now”. You also wouldn’t say “oh well, it’s all over now, I’m in mud. Nothing I can do.” No, we might be annoyed, frustrated or fearful, but in all likelihood we would devise a plan to get ourselves out of that mud.
If we consistently apply these principles to our thoughts, little by little, our world becomes a much more peaceful place because we are no longer creating emotions within ourselves because we are trying to contradict reality. The more we practice living in the now and accepting things as they actually are, then we are in a clearer state of mind to figure out if there is something we want to change or do. Being “real” about reality empowers us to create the reality we truly desire.