Here is a quote I read from the book “Love, Medicine, and Miracles” that feels right to talk about today!
Replacing Unhappiness and Control with Growth and Equality
“Unhappiness arises from attempts to control events and other people over which one has no power. The same futile attempt, born of our fears and resentments, weakens the body and leads to disease.”
How amazingly true this is as I consistently each day experience a very happy life while focusing totally on what I contribute and what happens in the lives of others each day.
In other words, I focus on what I am contributing to life (service) and being attentive to the needs of those around me. For at least ten years, my focus instead was on what I was getting out of life and directing the lives of others, which left me in consistent frustration with frequently feeling I was not getting enough, and deep unhappiness and fear of others not going what I wanted.
In fact, it got so bad I simply could not stand to live that way any more and I became open to a new way of living. Ironically, one could make the argument that the way I live today is nothing more than advanced selfishness with my goal to experience the maximum joy in life based on having learned what works to produce that in helping others experience the same.
What I see today, there is no separation between my happiness and that of others. Another irony is that to enjoy life the most, I must boldly examine and experience that which is unpleasant as it arises. My daughter kicked me in the ear a couple nights ago leaving my ear ringing until I feel asleep the next morning, which left me crying for 30 minutes.
The entire next day barely had a minor moment of discomfort. Having a happy life does not mean never experiencing anything uncomfortable. For me, a happy life means courageously walking directly into fear and discomfort with a “What is going on here? Let us see what we can learn here” attitude with an openness to fully experience the emotion.
Crying is a natural tool we all have built in to quickly process the worst in life. Giving up the ability to cry for fear of how we might look often locks up our emotions and leaves us in a persistent state of restlessness and irritability as if life is trying to get so bad that we are forced to let it all go.
When we are comfortable with our inner world, we return back to the exterior and see how easy it is to become unhappy when we attempt to control others. How often do we think that our happiness is being frustrated by our partners, children, friends, family, and coworkers failing to do what we expect they should do?
The more often we think this, the more suffering we experience, and then usually return back onto those people in what really is an attempt to control. It is as if we say “Do what I want you to or I will make you unhappy by being a miserable person.”
Seeing everyone around us as an equal makes the idea of control more ridiculous. Immediately upon dating my wife, seeing her as an equal rather than lesser or greater than me helped us establish the best relationship we have had because both of us knew better than to try and control one that has equal abilities to us.
While this body that writes here is physically bigger than its children, each of “my children” are still equals to me with minds that match my physical strength. I am humbled every day by the ferocious mental power my three year old daughter and my 5 month old son have.
Each has the ability to help me wipe my thoughts clean and help me open up emotionally. Both teach me patience and open-mindedness as they help me discover how many artificial boundaries I tend to create in my mental world.
I look at my son’s life at five months and am blown away at how gracefully he makes it through each day without the ability to crawl, walk, talk, eat, or do almost anything else I take for granted in having control over my own life.
I look at my 3 year old daughter and see how courageously she blasts into each new moment in life and how easily she laughs, cries, and loves. Putting her to bed each night is a collaborative process in working with an equal, which sometimes means we gracefully both go to bed at the same time while other nights I cry myself to sleep as she jumps around her room and goes to bed when she wants to.
While I know I could “be more controlling” with her and demand she go to bed immediately or else I get mad, I also know the price I pay is unhappiness for using that approach.
If I were to use that same technique which was used on me, I realize today that what I really teach is “if people do not do what you want to, get angry at them to make them do it,” which is what I learned and did as my default mode of operation until I was 29 years old.
Thank you for reading all the way to the end of this which I imagine has the ability to help shed massive amounts of unhappiness when practiced on a daily basis.
Thank you for reading this post which was originally shared during a live stream on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jbanfield/videos/925578127830068/
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Edited from the Facebook description and posted by Michel Gerard at www.michelgerardonline.com.