Delight Yourself: Choose HappinessBy Beverley A. Star
Published in THE NEW TIMES, Seattle, Washington
"Hard experiences are not necessary if we are obedient to the Truth that saves us from them. " Charles Fillmore
"No pain, no gain!" Who says so? So often we hear and read that suffering, either physically or emotionally, assists us to live more healthy, productive, and creative lives ultimately, and that we learn far more from suffering than from joyful, happy experiences. Do we want to believe this because we cannot accept that our suffering and pain could have been avoided? Could it be that we might feel silly and/or grievous thinking that we could have learned as much or more from happy moments and happy, fulfilling years?
As I reflect upon this question, I ask myself if I might feel vindicated believing that my own past years of pain, and sometimes agonizing moments, were all for a higher purpose and that I could not have learned valuable lessons without those years of hardship. The answer reveals that I would feel vindicated only if it were the truth.
My pondering of this issue leads me to conclude that there is a blatant contradiction in the idea that past pain equals future gain, that feeling miserable today ensures that I feel wonderful tomorrow, or next year. What happened to my belief that, "Energy flows where the attention goes"? In other words, if I think misery today, I get misery multiplied tomorrow. In fact, gain today equals more gain tomorrow, joy and ease today equals more joy and ease tomorrow, and - guess what?-that hardship today equals more hardship tomorrow?
If God/Intelligence is pure bliss and knows no pain in any form, I must conclude that whenever I am joyful and in my bliss, I am nearer to God, Intelligence . Many physicians have maintained that pain most often prevents many people from experiencing God/Intelligence fully because pain is the primary focus and dominates their consciousness. I frequently tell people that what I have learned from my own past suffering and hardship is that I do not need it to learn valuable lessons and to know the Creator. I prefer to say goodbye to pain and suffering and welcome joy, delight, ease, insight, and silent moments into my daily life.
Admittedly, at times, I could fool those who know me well, especially when I appear invested in hanging on to my resistance which is pain-full! I feel akin to the child who has been pouting and is tickled under the chin by a loved one and invited to let go of her stubborn, unhappy attitude. My behavior conveys thoughts that say, "Don't touch me. Can't you see that I want to hang on to this lousy feeling for as long as I possibly can? Furthermore, I hope it makes you miserable, too. So there! Leave me alone with my self-righteous and sad feelings!" Oh yes, I have known that one well.
Certainly it is essential to feel all our feelings, to express them appropriately, let them go and then move on. It is the letting go that is key. Once we have felt our less-than-wonderful feelings and accepted them, it would be so much more fun for us to release them.
I don't know about you, but for me, letting go has at times been the challenge. Who cares that I could have chosen laughter, understanding, and compassion when being "right" seemed so much more important. During such moments, I have heard my still, small voice whisper in the depths of my soul, "Come on now, Bev, isn't it time to choose joy even when you feel challenged and wronged? Try it, you might even give yourself the opportunity to like it." Hey, this has got to be better than the resistance, and ensuing tension in my body, and hardening heart!
I am truly commited right now to transforming this resistance whenever I feel stubborn thoughts intruding. I want to transform the energy in a way that enhances my life. After all, it is the same energy and I am the only one who determines the direction it takes.
Are you as ready as I am to make happiness and well-being your priority? When I am aware of my thoughts and observe how thought can thwart living life creatively and fully, I listen to my heart. I am fully aware that how I feel from moment to moment is entirely up to me, pure and simple. How empowering! It is virtually impossible for anyone else to be in charge of my life. I am the sole person in the driver's seat. Why not tune into the whisperings between thoughts? It is in these silent moments that creative solutions to any challenges we face present themselves.
It may be that some of us have learned and grown from painful experiences; however, I am convinced that there is an easier and more joyful way to learn, to live, and to be. The individualized expressions of Intelligence that we are in essenceknows no pain, no suffering. Whenever that energy within us is in charge, we are peaceful, joyful, pain-free beings. Resistance keeps us attached, and often addicted to pain and martyrdom.
At last, I am prepared to make room for Intelligence to guide my entire life for the simple reason that my life is so much more exciting, wondrous, peaceful, secure and filled with charmed experiences whenever I do. Perhaps you are as eager as I am to get back into the driver's seat and inform the unnecessary thoughts that hamper your joy to: "Move over, buddy," because the liberated you is now prepared to take command.