Constant In Happiness Or Unhappiness?
I went to see a play recently, and I can tell you that I went there with no expectations at all, none. I just went, sat down with my friends, and I allowed myself to be captured by it. I allowed myself simply to be present, no expectations, no judgments, no criticizing, no nothing, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The interesting part of all this experience was, that most of the people who were sitting next to me, people who also came to see the show, were quite absent. They were present with their bodies, but not with their mind, at least not 100% of the time. I guess that’s not a really easy thing to do, but at least we can try and work on it, right?
When we got there, we went in, sat down, and waited for the play to start, and because of some technical problems, there was a delay of 30 minutes or so. You should’ve seen how frustrated everybody became all of the sudden. It felt like a mad house in there, like they all had an on/off button, and when they announced that there will be a delay, everybody went from off to on, from sitting quiet in their sit, waiting for the play to start, to going all crazy and neurotic about a silly thing. I wanted to just go on the stage, take the microphone and assure them that everything will be O.K., and that the world will not end just because of a delay, and that we will all survive this tragedy.
I always carry my notebook with me, and whenever something like this happens, I immediately start taking notes. Why waste 30 minutes complaining when I can observe their behavior and then write a nice article about it, right? This is one of the many reasons why I will never run out of things to write. Humans never fail to amaze me. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I discover something new. There are a lot of neurotic people out there, and I am starting to believe that many of them enjoy being this way, consciously or unconsciously.
I ask you, who in their right mind would choose to stress over something that they have absolutely no control over? Who in their right mind would choose to stress over something so insignificant as a delay? Many people, apparently. When you are being told that there will be a delay and you need to be patient, instead of making the best out of that time, you choose to stress over it? Do these people just go ahead and tell themselves: “O.K., now I have to stress for 30 minutes until the show starts. That is fantastic. In fact, not only would I stress about it, but I will make all that is humanly possible to also stress those around me, and when all this is will be over, I will go home and I will take all of this negative energy, all of this frustration that was given to me by these horrible people, who were late, and I will start a fight with whoever I encounter. Yes, that sounds like a plan. Family, here I come!” That is some crazy talk, isn’t it? A very upset ego I will say, for when the ego is upset, the mind chatter come to life.
So why do we behave in such a way? Why is it that we’re seeing the glass as being half empty instead of half full? Is it because that’s easier for us to do? It’s easier for us to play the victim and feel miserable than to do something about it? Might be. I told this girl who was sitting right next to me, that would probably be a lot easier for her if she would just start reading the book she was holding in her hand instead of focusing on the “catastrophe” that was taking place, and that she could also use the 30 minutes to, I don’t know, maybe to bond with the people that were sitting next to her, but no… She just loved every second of it. She loved feeling upset and anxious, frustrated and grumpy, and she continued bitching, cringing and complaining. You should’ve heard her, telling everybody how disappointed and humiliated she was. Yes, I agree. I heard you could even die from something like this. I’m just kidding, but you have to admit, it is pretty funny.
Try to stay away as much as possible from criticizing, gossiping and complaining, for that will only push people away from you, and you don’t want that, and whatever happens always remember, the world is perfect just the way it is, and you don’t need to change anything about it. The world can’t, and won’t change. The only one who needs to change is you, and the moment you decide to do that, you’ll realize that the whole world will changed with you. All of this time you were trying to change the world and nothing ever seemed to happen, but the moment you decide to try a different approach, the moment you decided to change yourself, everything changed, and your world was transformed. How beautiful is that?
“Do you want to improve the world? I don’t think it can be done. The world is sacred. It can’t be improved. If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.” Lao Tzu
I know that there are a few people, or maybe more than a few, who believe that to be impossible, and they would rather live their lives doing what they have always done, looking for situation, people, circumstances that will make them feel frustrated, disappointed, angry and desperate. These people don’t live in the same world we’re living, in fact, they live in a jungle, if you ask me. Yes, and they are always fighting against something or someone, they are constantly trying to defend themselves from all those dangerous people and situations, from all those people who are in this world just to make their life a living hell. The way they see it, everybody is out to get them. To get them for what? May that be paranoia?
I was talking to a very good friend of mine recently, and she was telling me about somebody just like that. This person believes that the whole world is talking about her, and that everybody is saying horrible, mean things, when in fact none of that is true. What these people should try to understand is, that the problem is with them, not with those around them, and because they see themselves as being worth so little, because they have a low level of self esteem, and because they haven’t accepted themselves for who they are, they believe the whole world does the exactly same thing, and that is why everybody’s constantly talking about them.
The truth is, if they continue with their paranoia, not only will everybody start to see them as they see themselves, but they will determine through their behavior how they will be treated, and people might even start avoiding them as much as they can.
Everything that happened to us until now, happened because of the choices we made, because of our actions, and everything we have felt, we felt because of how we chose to process everything that came our way, because of our attitudes toward everything and everyone, and whatever we choose to focus our attention in this moment, and whatever actions we choose to take, will eventually determine how our life will look in the next days, weeks, months and maybe years. It’s not faith, it’s not bad luck, it’s not the horrible people that keep showing up in your life… it’s only you. You and your perceptions, you and your attitude toward life, and toward every single person you encounter with. You see, our attitude toward all of them will eventually determine their attitude toward us, and how they will choose to treat us, while at the same time, our attitude toward life will determine life’s attitude toward us.