We all have the choice to be happy, to choose happiness over suffering. But why do we find it so hard? Probably because there is so much suffering in the world. It’s difficult to believe that we have the right to be happy when there are so many people dying of starvation and living in immense poverty. The world appears extremely cruel and utterly insane.
As a result of this insane world suicide among teenagers is at an all time high and depression is a common illness among many of us. For most of us life is a roller coaster and sometimes you just want to get off. So how do we get that balanced harmonious life that everyone keeps talking about? Doing exercise, eating well, being around people that make you feel good etc. These are all really great suggestions and we should try to implement them all into our daily life but what if I were to say to you that what’s really important is how we think. I don’t even mean positive thinking. I’m referring to thinking whereby we change our whole understanding of what life is about, why we are here, what the point is ..and all that.
This may seem like a huge task but it’s actually really simple. Most of us just haven’t been taught. The mind is and can be very entertaining. Constantly moving from one thought to another preoccupied with the little details about our lives and or the bigger problems occurring in our lives. The thing is, that isn’t living. All of that chatter, drama, worry and fear that is going on in your head isn’t actually happening! You invented it all. I know it’s insane!
We trust what we believe, and our beliefs set us up for suffering.
Don Miguel Ruiz, The four agreements
To understand how this relates to the real problems in the world is difficult. All the horrors that are occurring around the world are obviously not invented, no, they are real. But they are real because we created them. Humans are responsible for 99.9% of the suffering on Earth. The cause of this pain and suffering occurs because of our belief system. A system of beliefs that reinforce and perpetuate systems of inequality, oppression, exploitation and power that are evident in our societies. Systems that empower a privileged few while plunging the majority into poverty, land loss and debt. Systems that test on and kill billions of animals every year while causing complete devastation to the worlds ecosystem. All built on the illusion that we as humans need to conquer and control the environment or it will control and conquer us.
This insane limited view has created a world of individual beings living with the belief that life sucks, then you die. But our understanding of the world couldn’t be further from the truth. We don’t really perceive things the way they are because we are blinded by a belief system that clouds our view.
The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.
Photo by Ronak Valobobhai
Why aren’t we truly happy? Our unhappiness can’t be equated with how much money we have, how many things we own or what kind of job we have. Deep down we all know this but we are constantly searching for perfection, beauty, to be right and to know the answer when everything we need to know is within us. We have forgotten that in our hearts we already know the truth, we just don’t listen to it. Instead, we listen to our thoughts and our thoughts are very powerful. They can make us believe anything even if it’s detrimental to our very being and our beautiful planet. Even if it’s detrimental to others.
Everyone has the right to be happy. Happiness is everyones birthright. We just need to believe it, but the problem is we don’t. We don’t even recognise what happiness is because we are being led by our ego.
For things to reveal themselves, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.
Thich Nhat Hanh
If you listen to your thoughts you notice how they just come out of nowhere. Usually they are quite repetitive, and most of the time not very helpful. One minute you are worrying, the next you are not. Suddenly you are thinking about the past, about a grievance you might have with someone then suddenly you begin to dread the thought of going to work. We are constantly preoccupied with worrying thoughts. It’s like our ego doesn’t actually want us to be happy, keeping us locked up in this insane and chaotic world.
Our ego pretends that we are in charge, in control of our life, past, present and future. We only believe it’s possible to be happy if we could just sort out the problems in our life. Things will only be different if that person didn’t do this or if that event in our life hadn’t happened.
Our perceptions create our reality. Our happiness depends on how we perceive things and what we believe to be true. What if we stop waiting for someone else to change so we can be happy. Stop waiting for the world to change so we can be happy. Instead, turn everything on its head and begin to see that everything is not as it seems. The mental constructs within which we live limit our life and those of others in so many ways. Fear and hate need to be replaced by love and compassion, joy and peace. Only then will fundamental systemic change occur. It’s a choice we have the privilege of having. So, choose to see things differently.
Photo by Hannes Richter
Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply to wake up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and desires out of its way and lets it act of it’s own accord.
To create a better world, a better future, depends very much on us that walk this earth. We are not here to live a life of worry, pain and suffering nor be the cause of it. It’s time we did the work. To lay down the hate and the fear, let go of our grievances and prejudices and dig deep within for our very own truth. It can be painful and at times impossible as we continue to discover our many layers, but we all have to do the work. We are here to live joyfully otherwise we aren’t really living. There is no point unless we fall in love with life. Trust the universe has our back. Ok I’m not there yet either but you know what the wonderful thing is? Everything that’s amazing in the world and in the universe exists even if we don’t believe it, yet.
Seeing things differently takes time and dedication and it probably won’t happen over night. You only need to remember that happiness from the heart and peace of mind can’t be found if you don’t accept that it is within you. Let go of any cynicism, of any limited thoughts and begin to go beyond to discover who you really are.
You are amazing! But you don’t need me to tell you that. Believe it.
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