ARE WE HAPPY YET?
By Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S.
Happiness cannot be captured in reaching goals or through obtaining what we desire. Security is not something we can possess, give or receive. Freedom cannot be won or awarded. Learning does not occur through written and spoken words. Peace is not a presence that comes at the end of strife or war. Love does not complete us, mend us or save us. For anything to evolve or resolve, we must accept our present condition, empty ourselves of the ideas and feelings about it, and open to its’ higher spiritual truth.
Fulfillment in any area lies in remembering that which we already are. Experiences, people, and things can stimulate conscious awareness of our natural state of bliss. Our mistake is to think that we need these triggers continuously, to maintain happiness. We have only to examine our relationship to what we previously associated with happiness, to see that it changes over time. We typically become bored, jaded, take for granted and find fault with what formerly felt so fulfilling.
What allows us to continue appreciating the positive aspects of our lives, is the understanding of their spiritual connection to our soul. This insight includes acceptance of people, things and experiences passing through our lives, rather than remaining permanently. Permanence is only found in our God. When we seek it on the earthly domain, we will inevitably be disappointed and distraught. With this in mind however, we demonstrate gratitude and spiritual love for all the blessings that are given to us. We cease clinging, exploiting or becoming apathetic, as we understand the source of all goodness is always lovingly with us.
Our earthly experiences can remind us of Heaven or they can remind us of what blocks heavenly feelings and divine love. In either case, we must not mistake the ephemeral for the eternal. Our evolution includes mindful appreciation of our positive earthly experiences, as well as learning the lessons that darkness, disease and disasters can teach us. Our common human tendencies with the latter, are to attack, defend and despair. And yet it is these lessons that afford us the greatest possibility of enlightenment, and thus true fulfillment. How we learn is through acceptance and awareness, rather than by struggling and resisting. We must understand what blocks illumination, health, peace and abundance.
It is erroneous to imagine that life’s lessons reflect only what is wrong with society or our environment. Experiences that trigger negative mental, emotional, physical or spiritual states within us, urge us to examine ourselves more deeply. Whatever the discordant elements are, we must diligently seek to discover their parallel existence in us.
Rather than becoming upset over not knowing or understanding some aspect of life or facet of an individual, we can ask what we have kept hidden from ourselves, and endeavor to uncover it. When we experience disease, it exacerbates the symptoms if we have angry or hateful thoughts and feelings about our bodies. It is more important than ever at these times, to feel positive, loving energy toward our physical being, and determine how best to help ourselves heal. Disasters allow us to fully experience vulnerable emotions that we normally repress. This can lead us to a deeper connection, compassion and understanding of ourselves and others. Loss of people and things to which we were attached, can propel us to re-evaluate our priorities and values, as well as the ways in which we demonstrate love and gratitude.
Emerging through darkness, disease and disaster allows us to discover elements of ourselves previously unrecognized because of personal complacency. Inner strengths, positive character traits, talents and spiritual principles can become dominant forces in our lives as a result of trials and tribulations. Maintaining a positive spiritual perspective in spite of human trauma, helps us make decisions and take actions which will positively serve us and others. This diminishment of negative energy and stimulation of positive energy creates greater receptiveness and awareness of divine assistance during and following difficult times.
Our oneness with God is the source of true happiness. Security arises from accepting and understanding what is temporal and what is eternal. Freedom lies in surrendering all but our spiritual principles. Learning occurs as we clear our minds of preconceived concepts and open to the mysterious moments that touch our hearts. Peace is the absence of craving and coveting what is meant to be impermanent. Real love is rediscovered when we recall how we were all created from divine love, and we are meant to share the happiness of this recognition.