Change what you can and accept whatever you can’t change!
Someone we know cannot somehow heal. She’s bitter, heart-broken and caught in a depressive spiral of self-pity. She had a simple question: “Why am I always unhappy?”
I replied to her that the good news is she at least knows she is unhappy. There are so many, many people out there who are unhappy, who are suffering, but they don’t even know they are unhappy. Or, a better way to state it would be to say, they are not aware that they can be happy despite their circumstances.
People are unhappy, people suffer, because they are allowing unhappiness into their lives. They are accepting conditions, situations that intrinsically make them uncomfortable. Or they are resisting realities about their Life that they can’t change. Very simply, they are fighting what they can’t change and they are not changing what they can. This lady for instance has a lousy job and a relationship problem in her personal Life. What she must be doing is to change her job, and accept that her relationship is over and she must move on. Instead she suffers in her current job and is denying that she has a relationship problem. So she is unhappy. And is suffering.
Surely, each of us has more than one situation in our Life that makes us unhappy. And the way to happiness is to get rid of anything – or anyone – that is making us unhappy. Postponing happiness is like postponing living. Just as you cannot get back a moment that you have lost in Life, you can’t go back in time and be happy. If you understand this truth about Life, you will not only want to live a fuller Life, you will want to be forever happy with a vengeance.
In Zen Buddhism, there’s this concept of living each day as if it were your last. The Buddhists imagine a little bird sitting on their shoulder to which they point an all important question each morning. “Is it today?” Meaning, is today my last day here, on this planet? This question helps them prioritize and live meaningfully every single day.
Maybe, the way to keep unhappiness at bay, the way to avoid postponing happiness, is to ask yourself this question too. Ask “Is it today” and go live your day as if it were today. What would you do if you knew today were your last day here? Would you be unhappy and lament over what you don’t have or will you be happy doing all that which made you deliriously happy, what made you come alive? If awareness of your impending, inevitable death is all that you need to drive away unhappiness, and be happy, then, please for your own sake, deploy that awareness! J