Does everyone know this?? That happiness is an inside job, I mean? Maybe everyone knows it in a sort of intellectual way, but not really down in our guts – & of course it isn’t until we grasp something in our “guts” that we really get it. We can sort of skirt around something for years & kind of get it – then, eventually, it lands in our guts with (sort of) a thud – & then we really get it. That’s the way it is for me, anyway…
I’ve observed that there are some people in my little town who appear to resent me. There’s a woman who works at my local coffee spot whose behaviour toward me usually borders on rude. We don’t know one another at all, & it could be any one of a hundred things that leads her to be grumpy with me. For sure, that great book The Four Agreements – A Toltec Wisdom Book (by Don Miguel Ruiz) has taught me to a) not take things personally & b) not make assumptions. Of course, being merely human, I do err & do both all too often before catching myself at it.
So it’s pretty silly for me to even speculate about this woman’s behaviour toward me.
I do have a notion that some people find my almost relentless cheerfulness annoying. I’m clearly a pretty happy person most of the time, & I’m aware that it seems to aggravate some people.
The people it aggravates seem to be not-very-happy people – & I suspect that a lot of the not-very-happy people on the planet have not yet grasped the wildly important lesson that happiness truly is an inside job.
There is so much help for all of us these days in transcending/transmuting our little personal “hells.” So many writers who can help us navigate our way out of our personal “holes.”
Writers like Eckhart Tolle & Byron Katie, for just 2 outstanding examples (both of them have faced considerable personal hell & demons themselves, btw). Pema Chödrön & Elizabeth Lesser are two more (they too have wrestled with daunting personal challenges). As has Louise Hay…
Most of our misery is mind-created. It’s our own thoughts that torture us & make us so unhappy. If we can change our thoughts – most of which, as Eckhart Tolle points out – are repetitive – we can change our emotions – & our lives!
I came across a really great quotation about attitude several years ago. It goes like this:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, or say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.” (Charles Swindoll)
We are in charge. For some of us, it seems to serve some sort of odd personal agenda to be miserable – to feel like a victim. Some sort of neurotic pay-off. Whatever…
But this kind of thing is clearly a choice.
Change your thinking; change your life!
The world can sure use our full attention – & energy – these days! It kind of needs us to wake up!!
p.s. Books by the authors mentioned that I recommend highly are:
- A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, Eckhart Tolle, Plume/Namaste, 2006.
- Broken Open – How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, by Elizabeth Lesser, Villard, 2004.
- Loving What Is – Four questions that can change your life, by Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell, Three Rivers Press, 2002.
- The Four Agreements – A Toltec Wisdom Book, by Don Miguel Ruiz, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1997.
- The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness, by Pema Chödrön, Shambhala, 2001.
- When Things Fall Apart – Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chödrön, Shambhala, 1997.
Read just one, or any or all of them; every single one is awesome!! :)
p.p.s. Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life is also excellent, & the DVD that’s been made of it is very, very, very worth watching…
** great big list of "books that can change your life" here