Have you ever met a person who works so hard and fights so much to achieve an iota of life that you almost feel sorry for him or her? Is happiness and peace dependent upon his or her successes?
Life has helped me understand the difference between success and happiness. Success changes nothing in your mind about happiness and peace.
In general, if you don’t take the time to understand some simple Truths about the world, the universe, and how it operates with or without you, you may feel concerned that life is happening TO YOU.
One morning in early April I was told that one of my books was on the NY Times Bestsellers list. I was really excited. I told a few special people—bragged a little. That evening, though, I got in a fight with my ex-partner. The entire rest of the day actually imploded. Even my own successes were used against me in the fight. Becoming a bestselling author meant nothing in a matter of hours. Happiness and success didn’t change my current life situation as much as I had hoped it would.
Do you know what actually makes you happy? What can complete you? Is it a relationship, job, sex, lots of money, etc.? Can we really define our sense of peace and joy with success ?
Perhaps, we can look at life through the mirror of success and financial gain and see ephemeral happiness, but nothing that is can remain perfectly gift wrapped.
You can’t buy happiness, you can’t marry happiness, and you can’t force happiness into your life.
Happiness, joy, and peace are authentic branches of a life that are balanced with attention to spirituality, meditation, and purposeful living. If you do not take time for any of the latter, you will always find yourself seeking for more somewhere. Everything outside of the box of Spiritual Truth has the human desire for more attached to it.
The Truth You May Now Know
Ultimately, spirituality, meditation, and a purpose-driven life are all aspects of a Truth that lead you back to your core self, your authentic reality. When you learn to be perfectly at peace with what happens RIGHT NOW, you will always be at peace and happy.
How much does the past and the future actually affect your happiness?
If you are like most of the humans on Earth, you would have to answer honestly: 99.99%. However, the likelihood of anything in the past or in the future actually affecting your happiness only happens in your own brain.
- You decide how much pain to give a circumstance.
- You decide how much life to give to a person who has hurt you.
- You decide how much fear you give to a bill that hasn’t been paid.
- You choose your happiness—everyday.
For example: I have been teaching piano and voice lessons for extra money for the past few months, until my husband’s green card actually goes through the current government’s bureaucracy, which has been over a year now. In so doing, I have been matched up with 8 new students. Yesterday, I was informed that one of those students, a young woman who liked me as a person, but didn’t think I was the right teacher for her decided to fire me and ask for a new teacher.
In the very recent past, I have chosen and fired vocal teachers because they weren’t the right chemistry or didn’t teach the perfect technique for me. I really had no problem separating personality with chemistry for myself. Why, then, when it happened to me was my first response that I’m not good enough?
I have been good enough for 100s of student before this person, perhaps thousands in my 37 years of teaching. This current person was 30 minutes late for her lesson, inarticulate about what she needed, and gave me 30 minutes to prove I was the right teacher for her. Still I was left with the feeling of inadequacy at being relieved of my teaching duties.
Reasoning with Your Human Mind
The question I had to ask myself when these feelings came up:
- Who is speaking here?
- To what situation am I reacting?
- Is it a time from the past?
- Is this the face of an angry father who thinks I could never do anything right?
- Is it the voice of a teacher who forced me to be perfect, when all I wanted to do was express through music?
I realized fairly quickly that the advice of Don Miguel Ruiz in his book, The Four Agreements, “to not take anything personally,” perfectly applied to my situation. The situation that happened with the student was “meant to happen” for many reasons. The student also is a model and owns her own small talent agent. She hires models for a niche of the commercial market. As she and I talked, she told me that I should send my picture to her, because she could probably get me lots of work. Perhaps, the reason she was in my life was for that and not as a piano teacher. I’m okay with that.
If that part of the circumstance works out, I could stand to make a lot more money as a model than as a teacher for her. And driving 80 minutes to her apartment in lower Miami on a Wednesday morning during rush hour traffic would simplify my life.
Truth Elevates Your Feelings
As you know, feelings change in moments. So, if you affirm truth in times of distress or pain or hurt, you will more accurately express your authentic feelings. Yes, what I am writing is that your human feelings are a not a barometer for how you really feel. You have experienced this many times when you continue to cry about something and feel anger towards yourself for not getting over the pain. We have more than one voice operating in our brains. We must choose to listen to the accurate voice of Spirit. We can only do that if we connect with it daily, understand how to access it, and continue to deny the negative voice of the past.
As we say in all fields of the mind: THIS IS A DAILY PRACTICE.
You do not get to nirvana in a day of meditation. Even if you did achieve a state of perfect oneness with spirit, you can’t stay there in body. You must get on to do the tasks of the moment at some point. Learning how to balance spirituality with your daily human life is the key.
Come back another time for more on this subject.
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