Happiness is a state of mind that ultimately is not dependent on external conditions or factors.

It can be a trap we fall into when we concentrate too heavily, too narrowly on the goal or the outcome or the destination, and do not accept the fact that life is an ongoing process, a journey.  We can consciously choose not to limit our thinking to hoped for, worked for future results.  We can look out the window of the train and enjoy the scenery and not worry so much about whether the train is on time or not.  After all, we only ever have the present moment as we cannot live in the future or in the past.

I guess those are poinsettias in this shopping mall hanging holiday decoration.

 

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You can take ownership over your happiness.  This will not make you immune to sadness, disappointment, tragedy, pain, loss, etc., but it will free you to find more happiness , or moments of joy, even in the midst of difficult experiences. One can find joy in every day simple things that are always there if one looks for them.

Ultimately, you can only depend on yourself.  We come into the world alone as birth is an individual experience for us, not a group experience.  The same is true for death.  We die alone.  Also, lovers, family members, friends will disappoint us, frustrate us, fail us at times, even at critical times.  As well, the cruel hand of death can and will take loved ones away from you.  What is near and dear to you can be taken away very abruptly.

On the afternoon of Christmas Day, perhaps around 4:00 p.m., I made myself a drink (whiskey) and put on some CDs to listen to and relax to.  Some of these thoughts came to me as I listened to some nice songs from decades ago. Some of the songs were Hummingbird and We May Never Pass This Way Again by Seals and Crofts, and also A Place in The Sun, by Pablo Cruise (“Its time to find your place in the sun.”)  Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, their greatest hits album, provided some listening pleasure as well.  Music can brighten your day.  Just humming or singing a favorite song can lift your spirits.

Inside one album, these words of Sri Chinmoy were written:

I am free because I am not of the body

I am free because I am not the body

I am free because I am the soul bird that flies in infinity-sky

I am the soul child that dreams in the lap of the immortal king supreme

 

You cannot change the world.  It was seriously flawed before we were here and it will be so long after we are gone.  Yet, we can make our small individual contribution to making it a more loving world.  As Mother Theresa said, (paraphrasing now) “It is for us to make the effort.  The results are in God’s hands.”

I had read some years ago of an old man walking along the sea shore at low tide who was tossing star fish back into the sea.  A stranger asked why he was doing this when so many star fish were stranded out of the water far up and down the beach.  These likely would not all be tossed back into the sea so what did it matter?  He replied as he tossed one back into the sea:

“It matters to this one.”

The “moral” or lesson of this is that we can make a positive difference in the lives of at least a few other human beings during our time on this earth.

Chance events can be cruel.  I clearly recall the Loma Prieta earthquake of 17 October 1989.  We were living at the time in the Sunset District of San Francisco perhaps no more than 2 miles from the coast.  A portion of the elevated concrete highway across the bay in Oakland collapsed during the quake (during evening “rush hour”).  Those drivers on the lower portion of the double-deck highway that had just passed this collapsed section seconds prior to the quake were completely safe.  Similarly, those drivers who were seconds away from reaching this section of highway were spared even though they had to stop their cars quickly as they saw the upper portion come down on to the roadway ahead of them.  Those drivers between these 2 points in time were killed, crushed by hundred or thousands of tons of concrete that reduced cars to mere inches in height.

Lady luck can be a real pain at times.  I do not fully buy into the idea that we make our own luck.  Nor do I believe that so-called karma is responsible for everything that befalls us.  It may be that our lives are pre-arranged to a certain extent.  (With some of the things that have happened in my life and the way in which these happened, it is not so difficult for me to believe our lives are, to a degree, pre-arranged.)  But, it is hard for me to believe that we individual souls or spirits have much say in this pre-arrangement.  Would anyone willingly accept/choose a serious birth defect, or a lifelong, adverse health condition?

Lady luck seduces us by taking advantage of our (often unrealistic) hopes.

Our final thought for today is this.  Money is funny when you think about it. When you have it, it is only because you do not need it at present.  When you need it, it is because you do not have it or do not have enough of it to meet your needs.

 

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