photo: Matjaz Zore @matzban
“Resistance renders us blind to opportunities, fear paralyzes and attracts what we fear and want is lack that creates dependence. We are very rarely confident in ourselves, most of us are afraid of the future. Information that we are receiving is always someone’s word. But can we really trust anything that is not our own experience? Only personal experience can give us true understanding.”
What is happiness? Have I ever been truly happy? Now, that I’m digging into my memories, I understand that happiness for me, was a capricious bird that I sometimes managed to catch but even then, because of knowing that it would shortly last I would become sad soon. I’m Googling quotes on Happiness and I’m founding all sorts of things: all these people are talking about their own experience and only a few of them (enlightened ones), are saying that happiness depends on what is inside of us and not on what is going on around us. ‘Course, there’s far more of those who havent had the experience. So, why did I believe them?
“We do not govern our life; our mind and body govern it. The meaning of the word “mind” (human or conscious mind) is deceiving. When we say “mind”, it appears as if there is something within us. There is nothing! The mind is not a thing: it is a process of thinking, comparing and computing”
“Mind is a survival device. It is necessary to have in order to live in society. This mind, this process of thinking, is just a fragment of our Mind, and this fragment is trying to be independent and dominating.
“What people call their mind is ETP (Emotional thinking process), and a very small part of their subconscious that stores records of their past. Because it is impossible for a fragment to dominate, it creates a conflict. Being a limitation, the fragment is failing all the time. You, the mysterious grand intelligence that includes states of Love and Freedom, are bigger and incomparably more powerful. The mind is just a fragment but you gave it control.
Yuri Spilny, Freedom Technique: Path to Awareness and Love with Autobiography by Lester Levenson
When was I happy? Was it when I was loved? I was always loved and still am: by my parents, brothers, friends, even of strangers that sometimes told me so, but I realized that even that wasn’t a reason enough for me to make me happy. My son always loved me, but was that a guarantee for me to be happy? Honestly, it was not. I remember the years when I was so sad that even though I had a healthy, joyous child in front of me, that was lovingly looking at me, not understanding what is up with mom. Now, when I think of that I see that at the time I believed that something outside of me determined if will I be able to feel joy or not. And that is why couldn’t see happiness in front of my eyes. For years, I’ve felt like a victim of life and my decisions that felt so wrong. I see now that for years I’ve been igniting the fire of rage under the circumstances and events I couldn’t change.
Since I remember, I long for being loved and accepted for what I am and just as I am even though I couldn’t accept myself. I always chose to love people who didn’t really love me back and that would only put more wood on my fire of anger and frustration at myself, and now I know I was doing that subconsciously just to approve my belief that I wasn’t worthy of love. We are so strange. And we’re always right no matter what we choose to think or believe.
When my health condition escalated that much that my neurologist advised me to discuss it with someone because my diagnose was too serious even for a very strong person – I started seeing a psychotherapist. There I found out that I don’t know how to love myself because my parents failed to teach me that, but they couldn’t because no one taught them either. Looking at the genealogy of my family I came to my grandparents’ grandparents and I realized that the whole humanity is a victim of victims. Because of governments that kept people obedient like that, or religions intimidating them when guns and arms didn’t work anymore, or because of experience-based beliefs that life is hard and happiness and placidity lasted till early childhood after when the struggle was on and lasted till death. OK, I got that, but do I feel any better now? What should I do with this information? That insight didn’t offer any comfort to me and life seemed even more pointless and absurd.
My quest for happiness lasted and lasted but I couldn’t find it. Slowly, the words of wisdom of many people got to me and all of them, including Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tze, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Wayne Dyer, and many more were talking about the same thing – Love is the solution. How can this be? It sounded so easy to my analytic mind that it couldn’t believe it. I kept searching but I’ve always found the same answer: Love.
Not so long ago, when I read a book significantly titled “Love yourself”, that was about emotional reasons behind physical pain and diagnoses, one sentence on the very end caught my attention:
Assignment: Tonight when you lay in your bed thinking about how much emotional pain and grudges you still carry inside and try to be compassionate with yourself and with your poor body that’s been carrying them.
I was shocked how much there were. That night, I passionately thought of every single painful memory and hurt and I couldn’t fall asleep from the excitement and the lightness I felt releasing each and every one of them realizing I don’t need them and that they didn’t serve me at all. That brought me a new realization: Anđa, look at yourself: you can barely walk from the invisible weight of the past that you keep dragging around. That shook me. Is it possible that I’m crumbling under the heavy weight of everything I collected during my lifetime?
I was determined to gradually release all that I could remember and I felt lighter after every memory I released.
But only now the real solution came to me: releasing was great, but could I completely neutralize the impact of those memories? You can – I found the words and method of Lester Levenson who used that to bring himself back from the almost dead. When the doctors, after a heavy stroke and various health conditions that came with it, released him from the hospital to die at home, not being able to help him anymore (he was my age) – he wanted to take a deadly dose of drugs to get it over with. That decision strangely made him feel that he still had some control over his life. Knowing that he has this option, he decided to try one more thing: he decided to answer his questions that bothered him all his life, but he never found the answers.
What is happiness? – philosophers and books didn’t offer an answer to that question. He thought: If the answer is somewhere outside of me, I would’ve found it already. He realized that the only times he was happy was when he loved even when his love wasn’t returned which meant that happiness was a feeling inside of him independent of anything outside of him.
Wow, what a realization that was to me too. I have found my answer.
Yesterday I started with the detailed digging into all of my memories of events that ever upset me, and that also included the poisonous lady activist in Croatia, the archbishop and those obnoxious female politicians that voted against equal salaries for men and women even though themselves had huge salaries, the government, bureaucracy and that neighbor that keeps shouting to me from his window even though I asked him not to because I lose my stability if I have to turn around when I walk. I was turning all that into Love. It was easy with some and more challenging with others but with every other thing, I felt lighter and freer. After all, I was forgiving and loving them not because they deserved it but for my own benefit. I even noticed the buds on trees and bushes and the magic of nature around me.
It’s a long but joyful way ahead of me. I feel happy.