I couldn’t help it. Every time I looked around at my situation, I saw time constraints and things left undone. I was climbing an uphill battle, feeling ineffectual and lacking within myself and my abilities.
Then a friend, recently been diagnosed with cancer, said to me, “When I see things that aren’t working out, I turn my attention to the great things in my life – like being surrounded by all this green nature and having a comfortable home. I put my focus on appreciation.”
I didn’t want to believe it, but how could I argue with someone who had received a diagnosis that would challenge the best of us to look on the bright side?
He wasn’t just talking about being a Pollyanna, I realized. He was talking about vibration. He was talking about attention. He was talking about choice.
I had been caught in the illusion of “not enough-ness” – not enough time, not enough accomplishment, not enough pleasing others to make them happy. I had been caught in a web of my own worldly beliefs and had forgotten I was given more power than that.
I was given the power to choose.
During times when circumstances challenge us, or we find ourselves struggling in our relationships with others, we could go into all the reasons why it’s hard, why we’re right, or why we can’t be happy. But the truth is, it will be alright, as soon as we make it alright.
If happiness is what we want to experience, then we must choose it despite the conditions we see. We must choose it for ourselves despite other’s disappointment, despite our own.
That’s not to say we deny sadness, anger, loss, or even disappointment. But it is to say acknowledge the emotion and then ask yourself, “Do you believe you came here to be free?” And if you can answer, “yes”, then you’re on your way to your freedom right now.
Freedom isn’t found in your circumstances. It’s found in your choice to be happy. To know you deserve to feel good about yourself now – not someday when you’ve managed to please others, society, or some preconceived ideal of success (whatever that may mean to you). Dare to let yourself, yes, let yourself be happy and approve of yourself and your life in spite of any argument your mind or other’s opinions may have to the contrary.
When you and I can do that, we have found personal freedom. And happiness (self-love and radical approval) is here for us to receive whenever we decide.
At that point, I needed to practice another voice. I decided to drop any worry and concerns. I dropped taking on anyone else’s worries and concerns as well because those were their choices, not mine. And I decided, “I am choosing my happiness now because I am worth that.”
And that was it. I was free.
Your mind can just not accept that happiness as well as meaning is due you through no effort of your own…that what your heart but wishes for could simple come true through your acceptance of these words.
A Course of Love