October 17


Today's Quotation:

When we recognize that nothing has to go right for us to be happy, that people do not have to behave for us to love them, our walk home can be surprisingly simple.  We have enormous power not to manipulate the world, but to be happy and to know peace.

Hugh Prather

Today's Meditation:

It's rather comforting to realize that we "have the power" to be happy and to know peace.  Knowing this takes away the power of outside forces to "make" us happy, or to cause us to be happy or not.  My life is in my hands, just as your life is in yours, and once we accept the fact that life and other people generally will not act in the ways we expect, we can stop letting our unfulfilled expectations cause us to be unhappy, or take away the peace we feel inside.

Does this mean that I can be happy even in the face of tragedy or difficult times?  Of course it does-- I won't be walking around with a smile on my face, most probably, as I deal with the tragedy or difficulties, but a happy person isn't always necessarily smiling.  I can be happy on my terms, in my own ways, and the peace in my heart will help me to be so.

This world does its own thing, and it is impersonal-- the world doesn't do anything that is meant to make us unhappy or miserable.  If other people try to do so, then the problem is theirs, and we make a big mistake if we allow it to become ours.  If we try to make the world into our image of what we think it should be, then we're bound to be disappointed.

If we allow the world and other people to be just what they are, not what we think they should be, then our own peace will be stronger and our happiness will be more stable.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Are there times when outside forces cause you to be unhappy?

2.  Why are we taught that we should try to manipulate our world if we want to find happiness?

3.  What are some of the elements that contribute to your personal peace of heart?

For further thought:

Happiness is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves.  It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire.  Happiness is something we are.

John B. Sheerin

more thoughts and ideas on happiness



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