18 Jan Happiness is a Choice
A life of compassion is always going to be a meaningful life. If you have compassion, you may not have as much money or you may, you may not have amenities or you may, but you will have one thing for sure; and that is peace. You will not struggle to sleep.
One of the most basic activities is sleeping. Most people keep tossing and turning in their beds every night, struggling to sleep. Human beings struggle to sleep because there is so much going on in their minds. Their mind is constantly racing in a billion different directions.You have kept yourself so busy and are constantly thinking about irrelevant things.
The funny thing is that most of the time you are not thinking about future plans but about other people.
Furthermore, the mind has a natural tendency to gravitate towards negativity. If you sit in solitude, the first set of thoughts that will come to you will be negative thoughts. You will recall all the bad or painful moments you have gone through in your life, and that will trigger a whole set of negative emotions in you. You might start to have bad feelings about the other person. You may start thinking, He or she did that to me, and I deserved better’. The funny part is that they are not even aware that you are thinking about them. Ultimately, you are only harming yourself. It is completely unnecessary. It is much better to just pick up the phone, call the other person, and say, “You know, this is what I am thinking, and I think you need to listen to me.” Either do not keep negative thoughts in you and let them out or do not ponder over them.
Good or bad, anything that you hold in your mind long enough will manifest in your life. It is harder to hold onto positive things. That is why most people have trouble manifesting positivity in their lives. Being happy itself, is the third action in the path to happiness. Happiness is a commitment. It is not dependent upon what you have or don’t. It is simply a commitment that ‘I am determined to be happy’.
This universe is trillions of years old, maybe gazillions. This galaxy of ours is billions of years old. This planet is millions of years old. In all of this time, the average human life is around 75 to 80 years. I have realized that the most foolish thing to do is to let this life slip through your hands. It should be lived, because we do not know about the next life. I believe in rebirth, because there is a yogic way to go back into your past life. But you should believe in what you can verify, rather than believing in what I believe in. Imagine there is no rebirth. Imagine this is all there is. What do you do if this is all there is?
Usually until the last breath, one is full of cares and worries, wishing many things had not happened in life. Well, whatever happened, consider what you want to do now, with what you have in your hands at this moment. Good or bad, right or wrong, we cannot undo what happened. It is done. Even if that person were to come and apologize, it may heal you to some degree, but it cannot undo the scar. So, you have a choice – you could live in your past, keep worrying about the future, or live in the present. Bad stuff will still continue to happen. Inconsiderate people will still surround you because chances are that you were also inconsiderate to somebody else once. Maybe not as much, but the sum total of all the karmas remains the same.
I am reminded of a story I wrote on my blog a long time ago. There was once a rich man who went to a little village. He was in a fix whether to drive back or stay the night. There was only one hotel in the village. He went to the hotel and asked the manager, “Do you have a room available and how much do you charge for it?” The manager said, “Yes, we do have a room available for $200”. The man said, “I would like to see the room first”. “Sure, you can see the room, but you have to give a deposit of $100 to see the room. If you do not like it, we will give you the $100 back”, said the manager.
The man gives $100 to the manager and the bellboy takes him to see the room. The manager goes running to the next-door grocery store, since he owed $100 to the grocery store owner. He settles his debt. The grocery store owner owed the farmer $100. He goes running to the farmer and settles his debt. The farmer owed a cop $100. The cop was sitting close by, and the farmer paid him $100 and settled his debt. The cop owed a prostitute $100. The cop goes to see her and settles his debt. The prostitute owed the hotel manager $100 and she goes and settles her debt with the hotel manager.
In the meantime, the rich man comes down and says, “I will not take the room. I will drive back.” The manager says, “No problem. Here is your $100.” The man drives off and everybody becomes debt-free in that village! Even though nobody gained and nobody lost, everybody became debt-free. Everybody slept really well that night. The karmic transactions work exactly like that. The sum total is zero. The balance sheet always matches at the end of the year.
So, all of these things that we think people are doing to us, most of the time, is complete nonsense. Nobody is doing anything to you and in fact, nobody can do anything to you. Even if you look at it spiritually, you are not the body. Identification with the body makes you think that anything the body goes through, which is inconvenient, is a big problem. This is because everything we experience is through the body. Imagine, if you were to step into somebody else’s body for a moment. Will you be able to clean up after that person, brush their teeth, etc.? How would you feel? You would feel gross, but we do not feel that with our own body. That is how strong self-identification is with the body.
To overcome this identification with the body, take a moment to reflect, ‘Who am I? What is my truth? What is the basis of my existence? What do I stand for? What am I doing on this planet? All the things that I am giving importance to, do they even matter? Is there any sense to everything that I have held onto, to cripple myself?’ Furthermore, 90% of negative feelings go away when you make a conscious commitment to compassion.
This post is transcribed from the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_LhABkMOWA