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Everything you do is based on the choices you make. When you first wake in the morning you choose your mood, how you will meet the day, and this shapes your day. If you choose that, no matter what, this is going to be a good, happy day, it will be. It is your choice and through your conscious will, you ensure that it is a good day. Sometimes we wake up not so sure, but it is through sheer will that you overcome the doubts and all the hurdles towards a good day.
I hear many people complaining about their life, about their circumstances, blaming others for their state of unhappiness. What have others to do with it? You, and you alone are responsible for your own happiness or misery. Ok, you have someone in your life who “makes” you unhappy. How? They cannot force you into that state. You are the only person who has the ability to impose a mood on yourself. When we give others the right to choose our mood, to shape our life, we lose control of our very essence. To retain control of your life you have to realize that you alone have the ability to dictate your own mood. So someone you care about is going through a bad patch and is living in a cloud of doom and gloom. You are an independent entity. You sympathies, you empathize, you commiserate, but you do not enter and live in that cloud with them. Your inner core remains intact, your peace and serenity are of your own making.
Some people are deliberate mood wreckers, they thrive on grief and problems. Like a vortex they try to pull everyone around them into their downward spiral. Even if such a person is close to you, you still have the choice of either passively giving in to that pull and getting lost in the gloom, or of saying no, I am who I am, I shall not be pulled down, I shall keep my inner core free from the storm raging about me. It is your choice to remain above the Frey, to preserve your inner peace to insist on choosing the path of joy and satisfaction.
To Confucius we are the ones who bring unhappiness to ourselves. The constraints we put on ourselves, our ideas and sometimes misconceived perceptions, quite often necessitate our placing ourselves in positions that result in our unhappiness. The ultimate goal in life is happiness, and this can only be achieved through love. The first step in that journey is to love yourself. How many times have you met someone who is dissatisfied with their appearance? With their lot in life? With their circumstances? How many times do they tell you that they have no choice but to remain in this job because they need to. But they do have a choice, they just don’t see it, or are too scared to contemplate a change. “Courage is the power to let go of the familiar” is a very true phrase. Once you have the courage to let go of the familiar your life begins to change. You start getting control over it, when you move out of your comfort zone. Once you start on that journey, once you see that with the first step your world has not come down crashing around your ears, you realize that a door has miraculously opened to unlimited possibilities, you realize that you have taken the first step towards an exciting adventure, where the sky is the limit.
At that moment, your most surprising realization is the beginning of the most exciting adventure of all, that of self discovery. You are not a static entity, you are a fluid, evolving, ever growing and changing being. You learn, you appreciate and you discover. Once the excitement subsides a bit, you realize that most of your senses have not been used to the fullest, and when you do, your senses miraculously sharpen and your ability to appreciate increases tenfold. Beauty is everywhere, in the way a ray of sunshine brings out the texture of the fabric on a sofa you have lived with for years and never seen that way before. In the perfect shape and proportion of a leaf on the ground. In the look on your pet’s face, the grace of a random hand gesture, or the curve of a child’s lips in an innocent smile. The beauty of a tune that you barely catch, the trill of youthful laughter or even the purring of your cat. The evening smell of honeysuckle, or that of the earth after a rainfall. The soft touch of a loving hand, the warm handshake of a friend, or the encompassing hug that says it all. Your senses are sharpened and heightened to a degree where everything has taken a clearer, more vivid aspect, where beauty is in everything and everyone around you. All this is your choice. You have chosen to live in this world of beauty and love. You love the you that God has created, and you love the world that He has put you in.
This does not mean that you live in a Utopia, it means that you have made a conscious choice to live within the circle of beauty and love. This does not necessarily mean that hatred and ugliness have disappeared, on the contrary, they might be right there, surrounding you, but in the middle of all that you have exercised your right to choose what to accept, how you perceive it, and how it will affect the quality of your life. By realizing that in accepting beauty and love as a choice you are accepting life and joy, that your journey is thus enriched and overflows with light and serenity. Once you are entrenched in that position, goodness automatically follows, for with your deliberate choice of love and beauty, an automatic encompassing caring for all beings follows. Goodness is manifested in this encompassing love of all God’s creatures, and a very strong sense of compassion for all those who have not yet attained this state of beatitude. Your true happiness lies in your choice of life through beauty and love, that quality and not quantity is paramount, that ultimately you are in harmony with the universe and that serenity has taken over your soul.