Tuesday, May 13, 2008
When you ask most people what it is that they want in life, most people will reply that they "want to be happy". What is happiness anyway? Is it the absence of conflict? Is it getting all of our needs met? Is it living a "fairy tale" existence? I'm sure the definitions of happiness are as varied as there are people on the planet. But the one thing that I think people need to realize is that happiness is transient. It ebbs and flows like the ocean. It is like the elusive butterfly. It dawns and sets like the sun. That is the nature of it. There are times that you can bask in it's glow and there are times when no matter what you do it evades you. It often seems that we have no control over happiness but it is like grace and is bestowed upon us at the most unlikely times.
I believe what people are really looking for is JOY. Many people would think that JOY and HAPPINESS are the same thing, but, alas ... that is not true. Although they may be kin to one another, JOY is a very different nature. JOY is something deep in your soul that gives your life purpose. JOY leads the way to fulfillment and peace. JOY can be lasting and permanent. JOY connects you with the Divine. But how do we find JOY? Some people have touched upon it but still yearn for that ultimate connection.
One of my favorite sayings is from the great Indian Master Paramahansa Yogananda. He tells us "Everything else can wait ... but the search for God cannot." Those who yearn for JOY are really yearning for God. So look at your life. Where is the void? Do you feel disconnected? Do you yearn for nurturing? Do you yearn for love? What have you filled the void with? I remember hearing Deepak Chopra speak one time and he explained that addictions are a natural part of the spiritual growth process because when we are yearning for God, we first try to fill the void with other things and addicitions occur. What are your addicitions? Alcohol? Food? Drugs? Money? Sex? Work? Control? Are you ready to give them up and create a true connection with Spirt that results in lasting JOY?
Once the addictions have been identified and released (which takes some people their entire lifetime to accomplish), then we can create an authentic relationship with the Divine. Like any other relationship, a relationship with the Divine requires a sincere desire, willingness and commitment. We must plant the seeds and be willing to be patient in watching it grow as we nurture it with love. It takes time as it evolves and blossoms. We do this through meditation, prayer and the ability to see the Divine in All. The misconception is that there is something "out there" that we need to connect to and to attain. But the Truth is that the Divine is within and all around us and in order to have a relationship with it we need to not allow all the distractions of the physical world to get in the way. That's why Jesus told us to live "in the world and not of the world". We can enjoy the house, car and bank accounts if we realize that they are only the cherry on top of the sundae ... they are not the sundae. The sundae is the sweet relationship with the Divine.
We nurture this relationship by being aware, awake and listening ... by "living intuitively" and following the guidance we are given and in order to really "hear" the guidance we must learn to be quiet and truly hear the voice of Spirt whispering to us ... at every moment of every day. When we can do this and when we are willing to commit fully to our relationship with the Divine we will begin to feel the JOY bubbling up from within. You will begin to see the world with "new eyes" and feel connected, nurtured and unconditionally loved by the universe. You will feel a deep sense of peace within and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing that can every harm you or take your JOY away again. You know that you are a unique and special part of the whole and that you have talents and abilities to share to make your contribution. By allowing your JOY to lead the way you will begin to understand these gifts by recognizing that when you feel JOYful about something or someone it is a "YES" from the universe. It is your response that this is something you are supposed to be doing or sharing or experiencing.
So begin now ... release the worldly and go within. Let go of everything except your sincere desire to experience the deep and lasting JOY of your connection to SPIRIT. Once you've experienced that you'll never yearn for anything else again ... because "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man the great things that God has in store for those who love Him."
Have a JOYFUL, LOVE-FILLED week!