Yoga Sutra 1.8: Don’t Let a Misconception Ruin Your Day

A crocodile

VIPARYAYO MITHYĀJNĀNAM ATADRŪPA PRATISTHAM.
Misconception occurs when knowledge of something is not based upon its true form.

We humans have a hard enough time of things when we’ve got our facts straight. Even knowing the truth of a situation doesn’t mean we know how to make peace with it, but even worse (and harder to correct) is when our view of the world is based on misconception.

The other day, I was opening a package of crackers, and I was alarmed because I thought there were bugs inside. I saw these little black specks, and I thought they were the first wave of an infestation. But I opened the package, and as the plastic untwisted itself, I realized the specks were just numbers printed on the package. It was some meaningless bit of manufacturing that had confused me, and the problem I foresaw was totally in my imagination.

Very often, we see something strange or unclear, and we make an assumption about what it is or what it means. If I hadn’t finished unwrapping that package, I would’ve thrown out a perfectly good pack of crackers. It’s not the world’s greatest mistake to be sure, but how often do we repeat it in other areas of life. If someone honks at you in traffic, you think, “What a jerk!”  But maybe they weren’t even honking at you. Maybe they were trying to warn the person who almost merged into them. Not knowing the cause, you go on with your day thinking people are jerks. You arrive at the office ands say, “I’m having a bad morning.” Why? Because of a misunderstanding.

So, we’ve got two options in the case of misconception.

  1. Look closer. Find out that the bugs are actually just ink. 
  2. Let it go. Realize that even if that guy in traffice was honking at you (and you can’t always know for sure), it doesn’t have to ruin your day.

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This Just In

Getting married doesn’t make you some kind of superstar. You’re not the prettiest girl in the world. No one is.

Your wedding is not going to be the greatest day of your life. If this is the day you’ve been looking forward to since childhood and you truly feel it’s all going to be “happily ever after” from here on out, I don’t wanna rain on your parade, but I think you need a reality check before you take one step further.

Your prince charming is going to piss you off. You’re going to have to clean up leaky pipes in the basement together. You will fight about money. You will wonder if he understands you. You will both gain weight. You will sometimes not feel like having sex. You will fantasize about other people. You will wish you hadn’t spent so much on that dress.

I’m saying this as a happily married woman who had a pretty rad wedding, but I just feel the need to get this all out there.

No one will remember your wedding but you and your very close loved ones. No one cares what the cake looks like. No one cares what invitations you choose. And if you plan an elaborate choreographed routine that your whole wedding party has to memorize and perform for your guests, it might make you internet famous for a minute, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy for the rest of your life.

On the other hand, if you pitch fits and scream at people, everyone will remember, and not in a kind way. I don’t care how cute or famous or hormonal you may be. If the words “you’re ruining everything” come out of your mouth, you should be smacked because whoever you’re yelling at and whatever they may be doing, they are not in fact ruining everything. They are perhaps irritating you and probably forcing you to acknowledge the fact that you are not a princess and your life is not a Disney movie. Good for them.

Anyway, I’m not trying to crush your dreams of having a fairytale wedding, except I totally am. Your wedding is not the best day of your life, ok? I mean, if you do it right, it can be really fun and amazing, but first you should let go of all the ridiculous expectations and quit acting like you’re some kind of reality TV star. No one likes those people.

And as for making the marriage last? I don’t know for sure, but I bet it has something to do with thinking more about the person you’re about to marry than the dress you’ll wear.

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