A few years ago, I said to my mentor, that I loved doing whatever I was doing. He said, that’s interesting, I only do what I love.
I had no idea what he was talking about at the time but I felt that he had said something profound, so I allowed this thought to sink in and once I realised what it meant, I also made the decision to do only what I love.
It was one of the best decisions I ever made because now, I do only what I love.
How many other people only do what they love and what is their reason for not doing what they love, if that’s the case.
It has created an interesting and exciting journey for me because prior to this, I didn’t really know what I loved doing, I’m still exploring that and it’s been fascinating to see how I’ve lived many years without a clue about what I loved doing. Now I love exploring and finding out what I love to do.
I like the idea of doing only what I love, but in real life you just often have to find what happiness you can in between the difficult bits, and sometimes in spite of them, when you can. For example, have a fairly monotonous job, in the laundry at a care home, but it pays the bills. And there is some satisfaction to be had, because I like to see everything left clean and neat, even if I know the baskets will be piled high with smelly laundry again the following day.
I have a family who sometimes drive me crazy, but who I love unconditionally. Sometimes I have to push myself to do things I don't like, but they have expanded my world.
You have to take the good with the bad, because that is how it is for everyone. By all means try to make your life better if you can, but sometimes you just have to work with what you have.
I don’t know if it’s posdible to make your life ‘better’ is it. What does that even mean, I don’t understand. How can one thing be better than another?
And what do you mean about finding happiness? Surely happiness is within you? How do you find it outside of you and where would you even begin to look for it? That sounds like a scary and exhausting prospect. Looking for something in the world when you don’t know where it is and we live in a big world, it could take a while. What does it even look like? And are you saying difficult things can’t equate to happiness? So that’s a bit of a clue when searching for happiness. Now we know it’s not found in things that are difficult! It’s a start I suppose.
I know what you mean about sometimes pushing yourself to do things you don’t want to do but doing them anyway because they expand your world. I do that but see it in a different way to you. I see it as pushing myself to do something new, which can be scary and can feel like it’s something I don’t want to do, but only because it’s something new and I don’t do well with change but if it’s giving me some benefit, then it is something I want to do. Although I rarely do that these days but I still do, such as now for instance, I’m going to have a bit of a wash before I go out. I don’t necessarily want to do that but I know I’ll feel better for it so I will.
I don’t know how to take the good with the bad because I don’t know the difference. Surely everything’s good and if we think something is bad, it’s only bad because it doesn’t meet a preference within us, but it doesn’t mean it’s ‘bad’, only to us in that moment relating to our particular preferences at that time. You said sometimes, you have to work with what you have, what do you do the rest of the time? Work with what you haven’t got? I don’t understand, working with what we have is the only thing we can do, surely, and what we have within us is the greatest power on earth. How can we ever have anything better than that?
I think there is always room for improvement, in our lives and in the world around us. My idea of making my life better would involve trying to be make more of a positive impact on the world and on the people around me. I don't have any great influence or abilities, so it is only small things. It might include buying a copy of the Big Issue from a vendor instead of walking past, offering a lift home to a neighbour laden down with shopping, or even just clearing a huge pile of stinky laundry and doing a good job. It's true that the impulse has to come from inside, but the effects are outward as well.
As for saying you don't know the difference between good and bad, and surely everything's good, I don't understand what you mean. People dying of starvation in one country while people die of obesity-related heart disease in another is bad. Genocide is bad. Ecological destruction is bad. It's not just a matter of how you feel about it.
As for finding happiness, I can see what you're getting at, the feeling of happiness originates inside us. I just meant that it is often triggered by things happening around us. I try to be content with my circumstances, but improve them if or when possible. and what counts as "improvement" is a personal decision. But it should ideally be a decision which does no harm.
It just depends on what you mean by improvement. For example, if everybody in the world decided that from now on, they’re going to love their neighbour, like their brother, like they love themselves, and that they will turn away from the false god of money and separation and decided instead, to place Love and unity before anything else in their lives, that from this day forward, they refuse to bring any harm on another human, animal or plant and that they will put the needs of their brother or their neighbour or the person stood in front of them, first and foremost, before even thinking about their own needs. That would be an improvement, in my opinion.
You have just as much influence and ability as any other person on this planet. We are ALL contributing to the wealth and well being of this planet and it’s inhabitants, every second of every day, awake and asleep. And you sound like you go that extra mile do you are already doing a huge amount of good in this world and way more than some people ever even think about.
Yes, of course, the impulse/thoughts from within are the cause of the outer effect, so if we have a good heart with good intentions, that will be seen outwardly in the things we do, for example, helping our neighbours, contributing to somebody’s income etc. Everything comes from within.
Ok, good and bad. People dying of starvation in one country. Who benefits from seeing this situation as ‘bad’. What generally happens when we think something is bad, is we set off s train of thoughts that generally spiral downwards. We think of all the ways it is bad and it some becomes terrible and so on. Nobody is thinking from a clear and stable mind when they have already made up their mind that something is bad. It limits possibilities and opportunities and makes everybody feel bad. The person just thinking about the starving people feel bad and they’ve got a belly full of food in them. They are not only giving themselves bad vibes they are also sending out bad vibes to the very people who could use a few good vibes flowing their way. If you simply see the situation as it is, you are open to possibilities and opportunities and you’re thinking from a clear sound mind, not infected with thoughts of this is bad. You could look at the situation and think, these people are clearly not thriving in life. Why? Are they short of natural resources in their region to be able to provide adequately for themselves. Maybe they’re on land that won’t grow food and will never grow food so you have to ask, it that the best place for these people to be living? Also, in a country where people are dying from obesity related disease, maybe all the food these people have could be given, as a temporary measure, to the people who are starving and let them, the people who are obese, experience a bit of starvation and they may become mindful to put real food in their bodies, which will never make them obese, instead of blindly eating food stuff that is made to resemble food but which isn’t, it’s just something that tastes good but destroys their health. It’s absolutely about how you feel about it. If you feel bad, you limit your choices, if you simply see things as they are, without adding meaning or value judgements then you open up your choices.
Happiness is NEVER triggered by things outside of us. That’s conditional happiness. I will be happy if I have this or that in my life or if the weather does exactly what I want it to or if people do and behave exactly as I want them to. That can only ever produce a transient temporary form of happiness, based on outside conditions. True happiness that comes from within, never depends on outer circumstances but happy people have happy lives, their outer circumstances match their inner circumstances. If you ‘try’ to do anything, that’s exactly what you will be forever doing, ‘trying’. If we want something to happen we have to decide we are going to do it, not simply trying to do it. It may take many attempts and many years to achieve what we want to achieve but if we decide that that is what we’re going to do then that is most definitely what we will do. Trying is like a game of chance, sometimes we might get lucky, other times not so lucky but by saying we are going to ‘try’ we have a get out clause if we don’t achieve our aim in a certain amount of time. Instead of saying I give in, they can say, oh well, I tried. Really?!?!? Well try again and keep on trying until you decide you’re going to do it and then you will achieve it.
I have always known that this is as good as life gets. No matter how much wealth and riches a person has, if he is not happy on the inside, no amount of money can change that. There is nothing that could improve my life other than being more loving, more giving, more understanding, more generous, more friendly, more thoughtful, more of all the things that matter, that are generated within me. Outer circumstances are simply a reflection of our inner selves, everytime, it’s not possible for it to be any other way.
I agree with the last paragraph here, and I also agree that saying "I'll try" is a get out clause. I'm fully aware that it is, but I have to have something to fall back on (and keep me going) when I repeatedly fail to reach my own standards. I also follow the teachings of Jesus, and they ought to come first to mind, but that's another area where I fail.
I realise you might reply that there is no such thing as failure, but there is to me. I respect your point of view, but I can't share it. All I can do is move on, and, yes, try again.
No, I understand what you’re saying OrinocoFlo, and you’re no different to me. You’re on the path of improving yourself and are met with many failures along the way. Some times we even fail on purpose because life can be so damned hard sometimes and we just want a break. I fully understand the context in which you use the word trying; I use it myself in that context. I try and fail on most days probably, to be a better person, sometimes I don’t try at all and sometimes I fail, even after giving what was my best, at that time. That can be disheartening. That’s when I take refuge in Christ or Buddha, I go to the depths of my soul. Sometimes I’m not able to do this, usually when I’m trying so hard to be a better person but it always leads me to burnout, my refuge. When I’m in burnout I can shut the world out and come back to me. This time though, I am using this burnout for my own advancement. I’m not going to allow myself to reach burnout any more. I’m travelling the midddle road.
I see my previous 50 years (pre-diagnosis) as bundled together in to one great big failure. My failed attempt at not only being nt, but my failed attempt to also adopt the common values that are dominant in our society. I can draw a line under that now. And move forward as me and when I do that, I know I can’t fail, because how can I fail at being me? Nobody can do that job better than me and I may very well be in the minority in this world, but that’s ok, it doesn’t make me a bad person. Jesus was in the minority and he is generally not considered a bad person. I’m not likening myself to Jesus, not in the least, I’m just pointing out that just because I’m in the minority and most people don’t understand me, it doesn’t necessarily equate that I’m a bad person. This is a common belief in society that I failed to adopt, that when somebody is in the minority they are wrong, bad, deluded etc and should be locked away. They have tried to lock me away and they have succeeded, to a point, several times, but they can never take away my mind and my integrity and that will be my guide from now on which guarantees my freedom from failure. Because I cannot fail at being me.
Thanks for your reply, I feel that I understand most of this one, and can relate to it. It's an interesting idea that burnout can be a kind of refuge. I also badly need a break from it all at times, but feel like I have to hold it together at all costs. Maybe I could stop trying so hard without letting people down.
When you've spent most of your life doing what other people expect, where do you start to pick out and identify the thoughts and ideas that are really your own?
OrinocoFlo ~ AngelDust just pointed me to what looks like a great book, which you might also find intetrsting. It’s called ‘The joy of a burnout’ by Dina Glouberman.
Thanks, I'll look out for that one. Best wishes ;)
That last bit was meant to be a smiley face, I pressed the wrong key.