It's so reassuring to know that most of what we think is so important, really doesn't make that much difference. Too often we think that if someone doesn't do what we want, or if something doesn't turn out how we want it to, or if we don't get this or that, our lives will not be OK. But this is not true. We must learn to reduce our demands to mere preferences. When we do so, we tend to relax. So, if we get a craving to use drugs, we might say, "it would be nice to use, but it's not necessary." We can also reduce demands to preferences in many everyday situations which tend to stress us out. For example, it would be nice if my son shows up for Christmas, but it's not necessary to my survival...It would be nice if I got a raise, but it's not necessary, and so on. Whenever I’m obsessing over something (or someone) that I wish I could change, I say, “It would be nice if [insert whatever issue is bothering you], but it’s not necessary.” I even use this tool for most of my selfish desires, i.e. it would be great if I could buy that Mustang convertible, but it’s not essential. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything. Sometimes you cannot put up with abuse or you need to change yourself (stop using drugs). But usually, this simple phrase helps me stop obsessing, gives me gratitude and perspective, lets me let go of things I can’t control and ultimately, be alot happier.
Right now, I will meditate on the phrase, "It would be nice, but it's not necessary." I wil repeat this phrase to myself 5 times. Then as people, places, and events occur, I will remember to say "It would be nice if (insert issue), but it's not necessary."