Where is my beautiful house? Where is my beautiful spouse? Where is my perfect job? These questions creep into consciousness as we age and grow acutely louder as our peers find their partners, our neighbors move to the suburbs and others seem to float effortlessly into their dream jobs.
Not to mention the proliferation of Facebook – now you can actually look at the pictures of the houses, spouses and beautiful children. Fortunately, there may be many aids to move you toward the things that make you happy and away from those that don’t – like vision boards, meditation, therapy and more.
These are all helpful and good and practicing them will bring joy. But they won’t help you with the question of when. Because, as many of us have experienced, timing really is everything and if there is one thing we’re powerless over, it’s the passing of time. So, if you are looking at your watch and scratching your head over the big stuff, here are some ways to ease yourself into that big secret of happiness – infinite patience!
The deep pain of not having what we want in the here and now stems from the false belief that we will be far happier when we do receive this new “status.” It is this lie that makes the present unbearable. As we walk to the laundromat we bemoan our current circumstance and labor under the false belief that having a washer and dryer at home will not just make it easier to clean our clothes, but actually increase our happiness.
Soon these objects take on a deeper meaning and the lack of them in the present becomes evidence of the unfairness of life for a decision made in the past that has led you to this washer-less existence. And yes, having a washer at home will change some of your activities, but it also may cut out the exercise it takes to get to the laundromat and the humility that comes from seeing others in the public setting. Even when you do get the very best washer and dryer there is, the ego is only satiated for perhaps, one rinse cycle before it picks something else to create false beliefs around.
The idea that having certain things makes you happier proliferates consumerist culture and it is the hardest idea to shake. But to be truly deeply happy in the present, you must guard your mind against the lie that things bring you contentment.
You have no time to wait, because your life is right now. And if you do not sink deeply into the now right now you will have no satisfaction now, or in the future – no matter what manifests in your life. The ego hates this idea and will wage war against it. But only looking at the lives of those we deem to “have it all” will uncover broken relationships, squandered fortunes, addictions of all kinds and unhappiness, there too. Even though they have the beautiful house, the model spouse, riches beyond imagine – their level of satisfaction remains the same as before they had all that the world of form can bring. They have experienced first hand the lie that things on the outside will fix the pain on the inside. And they have no more that they can attain so they start to destroy what they have. That is the result of not practicing deep satisfaction with exactly what you do have.
“Relieve me of the obsession to attain [fill in the blank] so that I may be released into deep happiness right now.” Use this as your calling card to the universe. Use it for everything. Waiting for a light to turn green. Waiting for that person to call you back. Waiting to get the job/school/promotion. Whenever you find yourself waiting, you are pushing away the now. So just groove with the forces that be. They are sustaining your breath, your heart and your very life if you think about it. And when you give all of yourself into the very moment, you find that you are perfectly fine.
The pain of not having what you think you want is fleeting. It’s a thought, a moment and then it’s gone. Let it pass and return to the present. For if you practice this moment by moment, whether or not you ever get what you want will become irrelevant, because you will already be experiencing the happiness as if you have already attained it. And that releases you to receive all that the universe has for you – at the perfect time.
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