As long as you harbor a belief that there is a reason not to be happy, you give yourself an excuse to suffer. What if you made it your new year’s resolution to be unconditionally happy? What thought would you have to change or discard? I ask this question because it is only a thought that stands in between you and your happiness. Most often this thought is, “Things should be different.” That thought makes happiness dependent on circumstances, such as other people’s behavior, events that happen or don’t, and one’s own physical condition. I remember sitting at a traffic light once, feeling ill-at-ease and wanting to be home. I asked myself, “What is the thought that is getting in between me and my happiness right now?” The answer was, “Home is better than this.” I realized in that moment that I was making my happiness contingent on being home. Hmm, that pretty much limits my opportunity to be happy in a big way.
The abundant life is the journey of unconditional happiness. God is Love. One’s spiritual path is the process of joining with that Love through an open heart in all things. It is the continuous practice of remembering Love, celebrating Love, giving Love, and being Love.
Jesus said that in the world, there is tribulation. In other words, “Stuff happens.” He followed up his declaration about the inevitability of trials by motivating us to be courageous, because if he could triumph over hardship, so can we. He did it through the dreaded “S” word — surrender. Like Jesus, we “overcome the world” when we surrender the conditions that we place on happiness, when we release anything that gets in between us and our full availability for Love. Tribulation happens and will continue to happen. Is getting lost in the drama generated by your mind how you want to spend the precious little time you have on Earth? Is that how you want to invest your energy? I doubt it. It is not how I want to invest mine.
Life will present a myriad of experiences for your enjoyment. To appreciate and interact with the experiences without becoming enmeshed and engulfed in them is what unconditional happiness is all about. Your idea of the way things should be causes you to judge others and yourself if their behavior or yours does not line up with your expectations. How would your experience of life be different if you simply allowed life to unfold with curiosity instead of resistance? Your neuroses would banish, and you would be free. You would be lost in admiration and joy every day. The wonder of everything would amaze you.
Don’t take my word for it. Run your own experiment. Commit to unconditional happiness for one day. This is a freedom from all of your shoulds and should nots. During the day, you will notice when you butt up against a blockage in the flow because your heart will close, your body will constrict, and your mind will start spinning a story. When you notice this happening (finally), recall your commitment and just let go. Take a few deep breaths to relax your body. Allow your heart to open. Encourage your mind to simply observe with curiosity as events unfold. Just notice. When something else happens that day that tempts you to react and judge, run the experiment again. Open to life as it is.
Now collect data. How is your experience of life different when you go with the flow, dropping your pre-requisites for life and relinquishing resistance? By the end of the day you will understand that life is not inherently a problem. It is your resistance that causes you to suffer.
Joining with Love is the process of letting go of all that does not bring you peace. When inner turmoil is released, Love is revealed. Love was always there. Love is always present. As the poet of the book of Psalms mused, “Where can I run from your Love? If I climb to the heavens you are there. If I descend into the depths of despair, you are there.” The very nature of Love is to create, sustain, and nurture. Love is always there doing what Love does. You cannot change that. You can refuse to look at Love, to acknowledge Love, or to experience Love, but you can’t change Love. Love is UNCONDITIONAL.
How does everything look through the eyes of Love? Beautiful. Magnificent. Stunning! When one looks through the eyes of Love, how does one feel? Appreciative. Admiring. Compassionate. Joyful! As Jesus’ friend, John, realized, “There is no fear (judgment) in Love. Perfect Love casts out all fear.”
Today and every day, may we let go of, release, and/or discard all our conditions so that we may rest in Love’s embrace, be captivated and astonished by Love’s beauty, and be carried away by Love’s grace. There is only Love. May we have the eyes to see Love, the ears to hear Love, and the hands to give Love without condition. May we be happy.