Most people spend an enormous amount of energy trying to attract the things they desire and repel the things they are averse to. The things most people want to attract are relationship, money, success and recognition. The things most people try to keep away are the things they are afraid of or that make them uncomfortable, such as being alone, unloved, in pain, or appearing dumb or unsuccessful. In this desire/aversion approach, the basis of our thoughts and actions revolve around trying to get what we desire and avoid what we are averse to.
The problem with this approach is twofold. First, it’s not a very reliable approach because if your happiness is based on getting what you want and avoiding what you don’t want, you’re bound to be unhappy a lot of the time! We can look at our own lives and the people around us and see that the world just doesn’t go our way a lot of the time. And even when we do get what we want, the happiness that it creates can be very transient. The new car (or house, or job, or boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife) that you wanted may turn out to not be what you expected, or after you have had it for a while it’s not as exciting; you get used to it and it no longer thrills you, or you wreck it and that makes you unhappy. In all these cases, the happiness brought on by these things should absolutely be enjoyed, but they should be recognized as undependable sources of lasting happiness.
Second, this desire/aversion approach to happiness consumes an enormous amount of mental energy. All of the strategizing, scheming and avoiding required to bring what you desire and repel what you don’t, creates a busy mind which blocks you from seeing and feeling your innate light. So paradoxically, all the mental activity devoted to getting what you want so you’ll be happy, actually makes you feel less happy.
Dropping the desire/aversion approach to life doesn’t mean you don’t try to achieve things, it just means you don’t look to those achievements for intrinsic, lasting happiness. They are fun, many times worth doing or having, just don’t expect them to be your ultimate source of happiness. And happily, when you stop clinging so tightly to the things you desire, you actually enjoy them more because you’re not so afraid of losing them.
The alternative to this system is to get your happiness from the light of eternity. When you go into the light you can’t help but get a smile on your face. After meditating you can do the most mundane things and be radiantly happy because you feel that light in your being. From this place, when good things happen to you, you can enjoy them and when bad things happen, your boat won’t be so rocked by the world not going your way. After some years of meditation, your happiness will barely be affected by what’s going on in the world. This might sound so strange as to not even be appealing, but I can tell you it’s the best place to be. You’re not unrealistic about what is going on in the world, nor are you spaced out or ungrounded, you are simply getting your happiness from light instead of from things working out in the world.
Excerpted from the book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way, available on Amazon, Amazon UK and Amazon DE. © 2013 – 2014 Sara Weston. A FREE excerpt of the book is available here.
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