Whether we’re 17 or 70, re-creating our lives isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s the last thing we want to do, but life has a way of forcing it upon us. We lose our job or we have to quit. We must move away. We finally admit that our own decisions are robbing us of happiness. A person we’ve counted on for years does something so painful we just can’t bring ourselves to see them again. Worst of all, we must say goodbye when a family member or friend passes on.
After these traumas, we need to allow our tears to fall. Loss demands it. But once we’ve dried our eyes, we can pick up the pieces of our lives, Dr. Harold Greenwald says in his book THE HAPPY PERSON, making daily choices that will lead us back to happiness. But, he claims, our expectations about being happy must shift first. We must eradicate negative thoughts and words that brand us as a victim. Instead we must establish the habit of expecting happiness and visualizing that happiness in living color. Plus, we have to work at it, gradually and diligently.
But how will we decide how to change, what to do, which steps to take? Only after going inward will we know. Our mysterious, wonderful inner voice, if tapped often, can tell us better than any other what to try…and yes, try again. Gradually listening to that voice within, we can take on the challenge of discovering new habits and activities that will quench our thirst for companionship, fulfillment, adventure, inner peace and love.
A friend of mine, who is steeped in Jungian psychology, suggested I pose a question to the Spiritual Force that lies within me before going to bed. “Ask what you’re not seeing about the obstacle or disappointment you’re facing,” she said. “Ask to know which direction to take so you can grow as a person, and in wisdom. Keep asking. You’ll receive an answer.”
This might sound unusual, but I tried it after meditating, as I often do, before going to sleep. When I awoke the next day I got an answer, two in fact! I was elated. Those insights led to two decisions that I couldn’t be happier about today.
Yes, change is definitely not easy and sometimes it’s so gradual it is almost imperceptible. So be patient.
A few months ago, while viewing Greenland from the deck of a ship, I contemplated how this massive island, originally situated way down in Antarctica, slowly moved north over billions of years, until now it’s adjacent to the North Pole. Isn’t that amazing? Talk about change…
GREENLAND’S LIFE LESSONS
Oldest island in the world,
what can you teach me?
Is your ancient movement up the globe
through centuries of time
a lesson? . . .
that I must not count on fixed stars or familiar loves?
For as a land mass travels and transforms,
So do we.
And as certain as a sunrise
promises a new day,
the breath and the beat of life
shifts into new rhythms,
moving to traverse a world beyond. . .
By Katherine Sartori
Author of THE CHOSEN SHELL