So, why do we struggle and perpetuate this insanity of doing the same things over and over, hoping for different results, yet not really getting anything to substantially change? How is that we, perfectly intelligent human beings, continue to struggle and suffer? It just doesn't make any sense. We should be happy, shouldn't we?
The paradoxical thing is that we SAY we are committed to being happy. Yet we continue to tolerate life and circumstances that are certainly NOT workable or optimum, and we continue to be unfulfilled, struggle and suffer. Dan Millman, who wrote The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, says "Life is not suffering. It's just that we will suffer as long as we hold on to our attachments, instead of letting go and just going for the ride."
We always win what we are truly committed to, even if we haven't declared what we are committed to. We need to consider that at a subconscious level, we are committed to struggling and suffering. In fact, we are attached to struggling and suffering. It's not a conscious act. No one in their right mind would do so. But we do it none the less.
Then what gets us past the struggle and suffering, and into the life we say we're committed to? One of my old teachers, Jim Rohn, said that what finally motivates us to create the life that we say we want is one of two things. Either it's an intense and powerful desire, or it's a intense and powerful amount of pain. Since most of us don't operate from desire, what usually has to happen is an intense amount of pain. This isn't fun at all, yet it's what generally happens for most of us unless we choose powerfully.
But to choose powerfully, one must be able to get to being at choice. This requires completing the past and getting to nothing. The practices of acceptance, apology, forgiveness, gratitude and acknowledgment are powerful in this regard. Once this work is completed, true choice becomes an option.
Choosing to be happy requires three things:
- Powerfully accepting and dealing with what's so This means accepting circumstances and people just the way they are, right now. No hopes, projections, anticipation, or dreams. Just accepting the way things are is the way that they are. It may not be the way you want it to be. It may not be workable for you. It may not be fulfilling for you. It may be tolerable, but then it's fundamentally inauthentic. You don't get to be your true self. Breaking free of this requires being brutally honest with yourself and being in integrity with your higher self.
- Being of service When you are being in integrity with your higher self, you are doing what you are meant to do. You follow the passion of your heart and your energy resonates at a higher vibration. You are fully alive. In this state, it becomes natural to be a contribution to others – you have more to share and can make a difference. Everyone in your life is contributed to by you being in integrity with your higher self, because you are being authentic. Even if some people don't get what they want from you, you are contributing to them because you are being real.
- Engaging in ongoing growth and development Being true to yourself and being of service naturally lends to ongoing growth and development. This is the spiritual path of continuing to discover one's gifts and then finding ways to give them to the world. It is only by continuing to grow that we continue to give.
Ruben J Guzman, MPH 2009