2003-06-06 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand
The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

Life is rich in giving us learning opportunities that may be easy or harder to learn from. We do learn that we control nothing but our own energy. Some of us wake up in the morning feeling okay, and then feel compelled to think negative thoughts. That person then may feel safe thinking that everything will go wrong. There is no risk when you already feel bad. Everyone’s thought processes make sense and gives rewards to its creator. It is sometimes difficult to understand how some of us feel safer holding ourselves back or staying in a framework that keeps us sick or wounded.

So much of what we determine as "happiness" depends on how we view what the circumstances in our lives are like. For some, adversity may present a challenge or an opportunity or a game like an obstacle course rather than the end of the world. We can focus on what we have that gives us happiness or what we can do for ourselves to make us feel good. Some unhappiness is caused because of what we expect others to do for us. Sometimes we mistake the motivation for why another does something. For example, gifts can be a sign of caring or given for a price, to get something from another. We often create expectations of how life should be, how others must act and what we must be entitled to. When one is on the spiritual path, it is so important to remember to stay focused in the present and trust our instincts to lead us in the right direction today. Each day will unfold, and it is so important to be flexible. There are rewards that are unexpected, but one must be open to see them. Our happiness is often determined by our ability to know how to live. If we expect ups and downs as natural in life, if we try to see reality as it is rather than what we wish it to be, we will be more open and equipped to accept what each moment has to offer.

Where we focus our attention is a choice. We can focus on what makes us happy or what is amiss in our lives. We can think of how we can control ourselves, rather than be concerned with how others are uncontrollable.

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