What is the real truth about life?
I have read tons of self-help books, listened to podcasts, been to counseling, and sat with quit a few spiritual advisors. They each have their own individual take on life but there are many concepts and beliefs they all share. Beliefs such as, “Happiness is an inside job.” “Life is what you make it.” “Happiness is a choice.” “Just meditate and all your problems will dissipate.” “You have an unlimited supply of everything you need.” This is just a few of the beliefs I found that they share. I would like to share some of my thoughts on these beliefs for you to ponder.
Happiness was not a choice when I received the phone call that my Mom lost her life in a car accident. Nowhere inside me could I find happiness at that point in time. Growing up in poverty with outdoor bathrooms certainly did not feel like I had everything I needed in an unlimited supply.
I think of small children in third world countries who struggle daily for food and have no shelter. Does the statement, “Life is what you make it” apply to them? I think of the person who lost their whole family in a car accident. Does the statement, “Life is what you make it” still apply? Did they make that life?
Working in the jail as a nurse, I think about one particular inmate who was pregnant and charged with felony murder at the time of her incarceration. It would appear that the unborn baby’s life has already been partly created by the Mother. The baby will go directly into foster care as soon as he/she is born. I wonder if this is the life the baby would have chosen.
Working as a nurse in the hospital, I saw small babies dying from cancer. Did the 2 year old who died from cancer choose the life they wanted? Some believe that even before we are born, we choose our destiny. I am not knocking anyone’s belief. Just thinking out loud.
Who can choose to be happy in the time of great sorrow or loss? Is it even realistic to belief that one could choose happiness during such a time?
Even I have written about the importance of not allowing external things to dictate your happiness. After deeper thought, and in the spirit of keeping it real, there are times when external situations will definitely have an impact on your happiness and state of being. That’s the real truth.
I have found that embracing the many different emotions that come with life is essential to accepting life as is. Embracing what is. There is a lesson in what is. If we pretend that happiness is always a choice, we may miss the lesson in the sadness. If we pretend we have everything we need in an unlimited supply, we may never learn the lesson that comes from lack. If we pretend the sun is always shining, we will never appreciate or learn from the darkness.”
Going to the outhouse to use the bathroom in the dead of winter certainly was not fun and I definitely was not happy at the time. Try sitting on an ice cold toilet seat in an outhouse and tell me how happy you are about it. Do you think you would be thinking, “I have everything I need in an unlimited supply?” Oh, and add in that it is 3am when you track through the snow to the outhouse.
The real truth is, life is challenging no matter how pure your thoughts and intentions may be. And thoughts do not always create reality. I can think about having a million dollars all I want but I promise it will not show up in my checking account just by me thinking about it. Thoughts are important and powerful but it takes more than thoughts to create reality.
I find hope in knowing that whatever situation I am in, I do have the power to change it. It may take some time depending on the situation but change is definitely possible. With the example of my Mom’s death, I have come to a place of peace and happiness. It took a long time but now I can think of her with happy thoughts. In the situation where I had no indoor bathrooms growing up, I now have more bathrooms than I need. Change took time but change did come.
Take comfort in knowing that you will not always be where you are unless you choose to be. Be encouraged whatever state you are in at this time. You may be unhappy. You may be in lack struggling to have the basic necessities of life. That is the real truth no matter how evolved you are. It is okay to not be okay.
The real truth is, life will throw all kind of challenges at you. It is not, and will never be, all joy and bliss. Celebrate the joyful, blissful times and stop to embrace and learn from the not so joyful times. It is all part of life. We ALL experience the joyful bliss and the sad challenging times too.