You can be happy despite your circumstances!

You can be happy living with your problems!

When we are in a problem situation, facing a challenge or solving something complicated or making sense of what has hit us and what’s going on, unhappiness is the first emotion that we experience. Because the very nature of a problem is that it is a problem ONLY because you don’t want it. Yet because you got it into your Life, without your wanting it, you plunge into unhappiness. When you are unhappy, dealing with anything becomes laborious, a drudgery! Then you stop living and merely exist. Everything becomes burdensome, every step you have to take is painful and you simply lose interest first, and sooner than later hope too. Has your being unhappy really solved the problem? Or helped it in any manner? Well, surely, it hasn’t! So, of what use is it to display__or carry within you__an emotion which is completely useless? 

The simplest, the most fundamental truth about Life is that happiness has NOTHING to do with the state in which you are. You can be happy in spite your circumstances. Your circumstances __ health, relationship, heart-break, break-up, loss__don’t make you unhappy. It’s your attitude that makes you unhappy. Let’s say a near one died suddenly. Now did the dead person make you unhappy or the act of the person dying make you unhappy or your attitude, your outlook, to (the) death make you unhappy? Obviously it’s your attitude. Anyone who has been born has to die. So, what’s so surprising about it? I am not being cold blooded here. I am not saying you should not feel for the departed soul and mourn or feel sad. Please do. By all means feel sad. But don’t cling on to the sadness so much that you stop living. And all you end up leading is a forever unhappy existence. Also when you realize that your expectation that this person should not die is the cause of your misery, your suffering and your unhappiness, you come alive, you begin to feel happy__and content__in the SAME situation. The person who died has not come alive. You have.  This logic applies to every situation that causes you pain, grief and unhappiness in your Life. When you feel unhappy about something, examine not just the object that you think is causing your unhappiness, but also examine what attitude of yours are you bringing to the situation. When you do that you will notice that Life becomes that much more simpler to live. First, you start learning the art of being happy in spite of what’s going on with you. Second, your happiness will always help you deal with the situation much better.

Jason Dehni and Lisa Ray
The latest issue of People magazine has a beautiful story on Canadian actor Lisa Ray, 40, and her husband Jason Dehni. They got married in October 2012 at the Napa Valley in California. Jason had met Lisa after she was diagnosed, in 2009, with multiple myeloma, a rare cancer of the white blood cells, which is incurable. Lisa fought her disease valiantly and has since become an ambassador for cancer research and cure. To People, she said: “I will always live with it, as multiple myeloma doesn’t go away. Crisis can be a blessing and a lesson in disguise. Jason is a rare man, with a combination of strength, integrity and sensitivity. He never once flinched from the prospect of falling in love with a cancer chick! Even knowing that multiple myeloma is incurable__that there will be good and bad days for me__he committed to me.” Jason says he looks forward to growing old with Lisa: “We will grow in awareness and support. And love.”

This is so beautiful. A lady with a fighting spirit meets a man with such an evolved view of Life. And both of them decide to live happily together despite her grave illness! The emperor of maladies may not have been felled physically but in spirit, Lisa, supported by Jason, have sent her cancer cells a strong message: “You cannot come in the way of our happiness!” It is possible to bring this attitude to every problem situation in our lives. Here’s another equally awakening anecdote. Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836~1886) was affected by throat cancer in 1885. He lived the last several months of his Life in extreme pain. Yet he never lost his calm and his smile. One of his disciples once asked him how he managed to be this way. He said, with remarkable wit and awareness, “My sickness and I have learned to peacefully co-exist in this body.”

You too can learn the fine art of living happily__despite your circumstances, in spite of your problems. Begin by choosing not to postpone being happy waiting for your problems to recede or go away. Perhaps they may. But know that newer ones will crop up. Because problems thrive on Life. The dead don’t have problems. So, you can either be alive and happy__while you still have and deal with your problems__or you can be dead suffering from them. You decide.