Finally Melbourne has decided to face autumn, the temperature is settling into high teens and the delayed autumn rain has just begun. I visited a close friend of mine and as soon as I walked into her home, I sensed a heavy discontentment in the air. No doubt I had walked into the aftermath of another one of their arguments. I felt hopeless to help; all I could offer was simply a listening ear to my friend.
As I drove home I could not help but kept thinking of my friend. Why are people not happy? Despite the nice home, the luxury car, the private school education and frequent overseas trips for holidays, why is there yet unhappiness in my friend?
"The sense of who you are, determines your perception of your needs. This sense also determines what matters to you" the Universe interjects my thoughts.
"Nice timing mate - I have just got home. Please keep your thoughts" rushing to get my laptop.
"Take your time" Universe knows I rush around too much.
"My friend is not coping too well with life. Every little thing seems to trigger anger and it is usually directed at the spouse"
"As I said, the sense of who you are determines what matters to you and whatever matters to you have the power to upset and disturb you. Being aware of what matters to you is a strong indicator of how you see yourself and how much you know yourself" the Universe starts.
"So you are saying that we ought to watch what we say or what we believe in? If we believe we are great we will be great"
"What I am saying is your action and reaction to matters is a more accurate signpost of who you see yourself to be"
"Ask yourself what are the things that upset or disturb you? If small matters upset you then, who you think you are, is just that: small. That is what you unconsciously see yourself"
"How can you say that? I know many people are very conscious about wanting to he happy, they see their therapist, they read appropriate books and has a general awareness of what they need to be happy and be great" I protest.
"There is no doubt that there is an increasing awareness by people wanting to be happy or at least not to be unhappy. But being aware about happiness and truly knowing about happiness are two separate experiences. You will find that you can read all the books about playing golf - and yet that will not make you a good golfer."
"You might say to yourself - I am tired of my life and want to change and be happy. You then consciously seek change and seriously start to do something about it. You might even see a therapist or read volumes of new age books to help you feel better about yourself. Your friends suddenly see the new you, your colleagues notice the change and you even attract the occasional flirt from strangers you meet at a restaurant. The new wonderful you has emerged and you generally feel good about yourself."
"Then you find out your spouse is not coming back, yet again, for dinner or he tells you he needs more space and he doesn't give you attention and never says he loves you. Suddenly there is the surge of anger and anxiety, before long you are consumed by this feeling of anger, hopelessness, frustration and even hatred. Not getting what you need from your spouse made you feel forever trapped and say 'I cannot take this anymore' you start to scream. You then attack, blame, complain, scream and justify your reactions all done on auto-pilot."
"Hang on here - what is wrong in wanting love and attention from your spouse? Everyone has a right to be loved especially by the spouse? There are certain expectations within a marriage and both people in the union surely must fulfill these expectations? Otherwise what is the point in being around someone who continues to belittle you?"
"Well what happened to the new wonderful you we talked about a moment ago? What has changed? Could this wonderful new you change because of the opinion of your spouse? "
"What do you mean? If someone treats me with no love or has no care for me would you not expect me to do something about it?" typing on my laptop furiously.
"Its a matter of choice. If you choose to be that wonderful new person then BE that wonderful new person regardless of the opinion of others. See yourself as that person and not react to small matters like the opinion of others to give justification to be the new you. You need no justification by others. In challenging situations you remain non-reactive and alert that these situations do not change who you are. Then out of this alertness you respond to the situation. This response will come from the inner you, the real you, the wonderful you - not the small you. Your response will be appropriate and effective and it would make no person or situation the enemy. You simply accept the situation and deal with the situation."
"So what would you say to my friend?" I want to get some practical outcome out of this conversation.
"Know who you want to be and when you do, remain as that person regardless of the opinion of others. Do not beat yourself up because of the opinion of another - simply stay in the know that you are a wonderful person and you live your life as this wonderful person. On the contrary, see yourself as small and you will react to small matters - see yourself as wonderful and these small matters suddenly will become insignificant. The rest will take care of itself."
"So in short you are saying is, if you sense yourself as a great, beautiful and wonderful person small matters will not bother you? But staying in this frame of thought must be difficult? How can I help my friend stay in this state of thought?"
"Just like playing golf - practice, practice and practice. Treat anger, blame, complain and every challenging situation as an opportunity to practice non-reaction. It does not mean you do not do anything about situations that you do not like. It just simply means that you now can deal with the situation from the perspective of your higher more wonderful self. Try not not to let small things bother you as you are beyond and above all these small matters. Soon your friend will find out that her life will turn for the better, as a wonderful person cannot help but affect every thing or person she comes in contact with turning them into a just a wonderful person as she is"
Silence........... Thank you dear Universe.