True happiness is a most elusive quality. It is so easy and habitual to view piling bills, failed relationships, pain etc. as challenging circumstances that happen to us. Being aware of these things is not the problem, but rather focusing on them and identifying with them that demoralizes and dis-empowers us. Sometimes we just need to take step back to get a healthy perspective on it all. To be able to rise above our circumstances we need to detach by placing our focus elsewhere. What do I want now? What makes me happy? Who do I want to be? As Einstein remarked – “We cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them”. Focusing on bills, relationship issues or lack of them, or other challenges seldom provides constructive solutions. Solutions are available, but they are in the untapped field of possibilities where our mind often doesn’t have access because we are simply not open to it. This process might not be easy at first but practice makes a master, as my dear friend Don Miguel Ruiz often reminds me.
We all want to matter, we want to be worthy and deserving. At the core we simply want to be acknowledged and loved. We were brought up in a system of reward and punishment. We wanted to be good enough for our parents, teachers and friends to grab their attention. Then, it spilled over to our bosses, co-workers, spouses and society at large, and in the process we lost our true selves. When did it happen? When did we forget who we are, what we want and how to have fun? Many might say “I love what I do, I am an accomplished lawyer, businessman or teacher, etc.”. But the question remains. Are you truly loving what you do, or are you addicted to approval – loving the fact that you are successful by societal standards, or perhaps that it brings you the means to pursue your true interests? Who would you be or what would you do if money was not an issue, if you lived in a perfect world of instant manifesting power? There may be a handful of people who claim to be 100% satisfied with 100% of their lives. There might also be some who will say “don’t push it, it can’t be that perfect”. But who said it can’t be? If we are creating our reality and have the power of manifesting our dominant thoughts, than what stops us from creating our version of heaven on earth? Well, if it is true that we manifest our dominant thoughts then maybe we should look at them more closely. What really drives us in life? I am sure for each of you it is something different, be it love, money, success, power or all of the above. Yet all those are just an effect of some deeper reasoning and drives. One thing is for sure, we all want to be happy!
So what is this illusive happiness we are so tenaciously searching for? I’ve heard dozens of definitions for happiness, and sure enough each has some merit. I am sure you too have your own definition. But let’s dig deeper. Remember when you were still a child, let’s say about 5 years old. No, don’t intellectualize it. Do it for real. Just close your eyes for a moment and picture this little boy or a girl, totally oblivious to the challenges of the world. Did it mean the challenges didn’t exist? No, it simply meant they weren’t the constant focus of your attention. Did you worry where your next meal is going to come from? Or what is the responsible thing to do in any given situation? Or how others see you? No, you simply enjoyed every moment. You saw everything around you as if for the first time, exploring it ambitiously.
You were still full of wonder, ready to take on the world. And sure, you banged your knee or an elbow here and there, but what did you do then? Maybe cried a little, but moved on quickly to keep playing. You didn’t go around for days telling everyone who would listen about how much it hurt, how stupid you were to hit it in the first place or how to avoid doing it again in the future. Fun, joy and effortlessness were your dominating drives. And what about imagination? You often imagined yourself playing a prince or a princess, maybe musician, magician, an actress or even an astronaut. How quickly did you become it? Instantly! You didn’t care what others thought about it or even whether they believed it or not. You simply believed it and that was enough.
So what happened? Why do we have to be politically correct now, wondering if others will consider us nuts if we leave our job we didn’t like in the first place to become world renowned writers, jungle explorers, or even dancer at the age of 50? As children, we didn’t care about age, or our ability to become whatever we wished, and simply created our realities the way we wanted. Back to happiness and the ocean. As a wave on the ocean is a part of the ocean, we as individuals are a part of greater organizing power which creates universes, planets, star systems and embryos. Why then do we struggle on our own when we have such support systems in place? Why resist this deeper truth so widely shouted from the rooftops for millennia? Sure, not all of us understand it, believe it or are aware of it. But what if we just took a leap of faith and at least acknowledged it as a possibility? Would we lose anything? For sure not! And what if we gained more than we can imagine? Ok, so if we are all powerful and all capable of creating heaven on earth, so why am I experiencing so much suffering you ask? I asked Don Miguel Ruiz, my teacher, this question and he said that everything in our current experience happens because of our link with the past. Let go of it, let go of the past and this illusion you created yourself. If you want to create a new life, start from the here and now, he continued. Be comfortable with the unknown, practice not knowing until you become a master of it. Let go of that which doesn’t serve you any longer. The moment you forget about the past you are ready.
I can almost hear some of you thinking, ‘but you don’t understand what happened to me, it is easy for you to say because you didn’t experience what I did’! EXACTLY MY POINT!! Many of us have become so entangled in our story that it has become our identity. Fair enough, nobody can know where you are until they walked in your shoes, but the question remains. Do you want to continue this way or are you willing to give up the struggle? If the first is true, that’s up to you, but I would have a hard time believing this choice. After all, we all want to be happy, even if you have given up on the idea long ago. Well, you are still here, you are still going, you are still searching. Why do you think that is?
It is very interesting how the need for acknowledgement and reward we developed early on carried over into adulthood. For some people being acknowledged for their successes and accomplishments is still a driving desire, but many people came to believe they could no longer compete with the rest of the world, and so developed a game of their own. How can I have the biggest challenge, pain, suffering and disadvantage, to be at least the best in that category, they thought? Do you know anyone who has mastered this game?. And they too get their reward, the attention of others.
I know, I know, some things are just not too pleasant to hear, some just hit home way too closely. But none of it is good or bad. All these stories served us well at some point. The question is: what do you want now? You want to be happy! It is simple. And the solution is also simple. It might not be easy, but it’s simple. Abandon your story and allow the power that is inherent within you to show you the way. No stories. No past. JUST YOU!
Written by Monika Burwise for Global Awakening Magazine.