When someone asked the Dali Lama what is the purpose of life, he responded: “to be happy.” That is good advice, but not always easy to do. Some of the key determinants of happiness or unhappiness revolve around personal relationships, response to change, and the ability to release anger and angst in a useful way.
“Avoid people that make you unhappy or people you can’t trust.”
“Avoid people that you make unhappy or don’t trust you.”
“Be with people that make you happy and are trustworthy.”
“Be with people that you make happy and trust you.”
Unless you are in a situation where you absolutely must interact with people that make you unhappy, then fade out of their lives and move on. This may involve changing jobs, ending long-standing relationships, or accepting that you are going to have them in your lives and “make the best of it.”
Dealing with change:
The rate of change is accelerating in nearly every aspect of our lives. If we can accept change without clinging to the past situations, we can be happy. If we are attached to how things were, we are limited by the attachment to the past because things never change back to exactly what they were. There is an ancient Chinese curse that states, “may you live in interesting times.” The antidote to changes is, “this, too, will pass.”
It is impossible to be happy if you are focused on the wrongs others have done to you. The same barriers occur if you are angry at yourself for decisions or actions you have taken. It is critical to look at your past and determine what positive results occurred from negative situations. Then, you have to forgive everyone involved, including yourself, and move on. When you can’t remember the details of who did what to whom, you have completed the forgiveness and you can focus on being happy.
Commitment to happiness:
Happiness is not an every moment emotion. When upsetting things occur, it is important to feel the reality of the moment and respond as necessary. We live in a world where a few crazy people can cause a lot of people sadness and hurt. That is the reality. When the situation is personal, treat the situation as personal and resolve it. When there is danger in an encounter, fight or take flight.
If you live your life expecting good and being able to trust others, you will find you are happier. When you encounter negative exceptions, you isolate yourself as much as possible from those with happiness or trust issues. People that don’t trust their self or others live in a very scary world. Pity them, and do not hate them. Hatred is the greatest barrier to happiness and trust, and is the source of many angry and disastrous actions.
Happiness starts with love and trust:
Love yourself. Love your neighbors like you love yourself, with acceptance and forgiveness. You are here to be happy and to help others do the same. Happiness is a decision, a lifestyle, and a commitment. Take the actions that you need to take to achieve a positive view of your world. Don’t worry; be happy.
© Copyright 2018
Rev. Jim Hetzer