Road to Happiness
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ― Confucius.
If happiness came in a pill or a bottle, life would be easy. If there were a perfect place to live, we would all be there. Happiness is a choice. Each has a super-power to create life experiences, but many prefer to blame others and play the victim role.
Life dumps challenges, some horrific, at our feet that are out of our control, but we own the responses. Choices are to curl up in a fetal position or face reality, assess options and problem solve to survive. Get ready to steer your ship. Break the chains of limiting beliefs. Take a deep breath and look at the sky’s vastness. The possibilities are limitless.
The first step to growth, change and abundance in all areas of your life is to be grateful. How often do you hear the expression of gratitude outside of a place of worship? It is more likely to hear whining about the weather, spouse, children, boss, work, money, health and services. There is always something for which to be grateful, regardless of the situation.
Most people plod through life, numb to their surroundings. Like gerbils on a wheel, one runs and runs and runs, on automatic pilot. Get up, go to work, go to bed, repeat, until one day, the house of cards crumbles. Miserable and unfulfilled, the finger points to everyone and everything, except yourself.
Instead of being grateful, it is human nature to feel inadequate and say, “If only,
- I had money
- I had talent
- I were thin
- I had hair
- I were good looking
- I had a better job
- My skin were flawless
- I drove a Ferrari
- My teeth were straight
- I had bigger boobs
Know that you are a spirit having a human experience to grow and learn. Your soul is perfect, created in the image and likeness of God, the Source. Your greatest misgivings are perpetrated by the ego. Many have been programmed by parents, ancestors and former lives.
Trying to protect me from the hurt of disappointment, my mother would drown my dreams by saying, “Get off your high horse. Who do you think you are?” When I told her I was engaged, she said, “You’ll end up barefoot and pregnant and amount to nothing.” These words sound hurtful, but in her own way, she was trying to protect me. I understand her motive now, but the comments made me insecure for most of my life.
Gratitude requires awareness. For example, a musician hears each instrument and the technical components in a composition. To my tin ear, it is a melody with a beat. One of my friends can identify birds by their songs, although she can no longer see them in detail. Focus aids appreciation.
My mother spouted a saying, “A man complains that he has no shoes until he sees a man with no feet.” Things could always be worse. Be appreciative for what you have and you will not feel victimized.
Commandment # 10, “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Instead of looking at this from the sin viewpoint, examine the impacts to you. To covet is to envy. Trying to keep up with the Joneses will cause the ego to shout that you to prove your self-worth with a new car, house, boat, grill, furniture, Rollex watch, etc. Excited at first when you acquire the coveted item, soon you yearn for more. Significant debt may suck you further into a hole of despair. For those who can afford the luxuries in life, enjoy, but realize that things are not satisfiers. They cannot replace inner peace and happiness. Work on you and the happiness that you deserve. The extras that money can buy, will be the icing on the cake, as you draw abundance to your new, positive energy. Too many humans think money would solve their problems. That is putting the cart before the horse. Instead, get to know yourself. Find the inner guidance and purpose. Be grateful for today. When abundance flows, play, be appreciative and share. Bill and Melinda Gates have a luxurious lifestyle and also created a foundation to make the world a better place.
You can make a difference, regardless of how much you earn or have in the bank. Many years ago, I learned a lesson from a nervous eighteen-year-old, flying from Houston, Texas to join the Army. His rural high school’s fundraiser was a squirrel hunt. Raised by his Granny, he said, “It don’t cost nothin’ to be nice.” The young man taught me a lesson, that I have never forgotten.
It does not cost anything to smile, hold open a door, shovel a neighbor’s walk or volunteer at your favorite charity. Each of us has something to give. Share your talents and positive energy with others.
A year ago, I slipped on a wet, tile floor, fell on my side and broke my elbow. I was thankful that my sore hip was not broken, which would have been more debilitating. Find a way to be grateful in imperfect situations.
Exercise- Take a walk. Pretend that you are a witness to a crime, who must testify in court. What do you see, hear, smell? Touch a shrub or two. Is the foliage soft, hard, smooth, prickly? What colors do you see? Look at the sky. Is it blue with puffy clouds or grey? Are the clouds moving quickly? When you return home, jot down what you remember. Do this every day for at least five minutes. A walk during your lunch break is good for mind, body and spirit. If the weather is uncooperative, perform the exercise indoors. Caution for those working at home, dust bunnies may appear.
Compile a gratitude list. Start with five items the first day. Try to add five new ones each day. You may be surprised at how blessed you are. It is human nature to focus on the one slighting, mechanical failure or mistake that happened than the kindness, praise, smiles or good fortune received. Has it been your experience that when you obsessed about something negative, more went wrong to ruin your day and evening? When in crisis, it is challenging to have positive thoughts, but worth the effort. Do not wait for the magic genie to pop out of a bottle. Take responsibility for yourself and your happiness.