On being happy despite your circumstances



The key to being happy is simply __ being. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Let’s say, taking a very operational instance, this Monday morning, you are in an aircraft that is already late due to inclement weather. Finally, after push back, your aircraft is 12thin the take-off sequence. You have woken up early to make this flight. And the way things are looking, you will miss the first couple of meetings of the day, which means you may have to stay overnight at your destination. Which means the schedules of the rest of the week are also going to be affected. You are extremely unhappy with the situation. You dash off a few emails before the crew order you to put away your phone. And, with a deep sigh, accept that this is one of those weeks. The young lady next to you starts chatting, wanting to know more about your phone and its much touted efficiency and features. In several minutes, you are airborne and you are laughing and joking with your new friend. Now, think about this situation deeply. How is it that your mood changed from being agitated, confused, perhaps angry, over the delayed start to the week, to one of relaxation and ‘take it easy’!? Maybe the young lady’s question and her influence on you helped. But the most significant influence on your mood, was your ‘deep sigh of acceptance’. So, in this context, your acceptance of what is, parachuted you from a state of unhappiness to a state of being __ being comfortable with the rest of the journey in the company of an interesting co-passenger! Now, think of the other possibility __ what if you had not accepted the situation and if you had been angry with the weather, with the ATC and with the crew for ordering you to put off your phone? You may well have been a victim of your circumstances __ and far, very, very far from being in acceptance, or being happy!

This may seem like too general an instance. You surely can relate to this. Because this happens to all of us. Not just in an aircraft but in every day traffic or even when waiting in check-out queues at malls. You may well agree that it is perhaps possible to accept practical challenges to everyday living and be peaceful and happy __ by simply being. But how do you be happy in or with bigger, complex, Life-changing situations __ when something or someone you held dear to you has been taken away by Life? When Life has wreaked irreparable damage to you? When what’s lost can never be got back? How do you accept Life when it has been unfair and unjust to you? The answer is pretty much the same __ you do it by taking that same ‘deep sigh of acceptance’. Because there is no other way to deal with Life.

Osho, the Master, I think it was him, used to say this story.

A big dog saw a little dog chasing its tail, and asked, “Why are you chasing your tail?” Said the puppy, “I have mastered philosophy, I have solved the problems of the Universe which no dog before me has rightly solved: I have learned that the best thing for a dog is happiness, and that happiness is in my tail. Therefore I am chasing it, and when I catch it I shall have it.”

Said the big dog, “My child, I too have paid attention to the problems of the Universe in my own way and have learned something. I too have understood that happiness is a fine thing for a dog, and that happiness is in my tail. But I have noticed that when I go about my business, it comes after me. I need not chase it.”

So it is. That simple. Irrespective of what happens to you, what circumstance you are placed in, simply go about your business. In total acceptance. And with immense gratitude for what has been given, for this lifetime, for this experience. Simple or complex, general or unique __ all situations in Life, all circumstances, have to be accepted. Acceptance of what is always takes you to a state of simply being. It is only by being that you will be happy!

Know that on one note, Life is an endless celebration. Each day is a festival. Each moment is an opportunity to arise, awaken, learn and evolve. On another note, Life is like a ball of wool. Deal with it calmly and you will be able to weave a beautiful tapestry. Get keyed up and you will end up in knots. And occasionally be prepared for it to be snatched away from you, knotted up and thrown back at you to untangle…..! Somewhere between all the celebration and all the untangling, an entire Lifetime is woven. You__and I__must simply keep weaving. Don’t worry about the design. Keep celebrating. Don’t worry about the knots. Because your duty is to weave well. Your duty is to celebrate well. Each Life’s tapestry is part of this inscrutable cosmic Masterplan. And, what I have learned from Life is that, the Masterplan has no flaws!

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