Dare to be Happy

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The only thing that stands in the way of my having fun is… nothing.

Beyond Therapy and Thought Addictions

After 25 years of teaching Yoga, dancing around the world, jumping over fires, fasting, vision questing, attending seminars, entering shamanic trances, rowing spirit canoes, chanting with medicine women, and meditating with sages, as well as tons of therapy, crying rivers of tears, and riding tidal waves of worries, I finally found a sound method for harmonious healing and easy transformation that makes my heart “sing’.

I used to be quiet, but now I’m… at a loss for words.

No, seriously… ever since my two brothers and father all died when I was a teenager, it was hard for me to see how I could overcome survivor’s guilt. I could use a shot of guilt like most people use a cup of Kona coffee to get going in the morning. My sense of exaggerated tragedy and dismay had left me with so much self-centered despair that I would climb the ladder of consciousness only to sabotage myself near the top, or worse, find I’d placed the ladder against the wrong wall!

After I changed the belief, I felt like a new person.

I felt like I was stuck in an elevator going up and down, up and down, with a radio station named K-YCH! broadcasting on my yo-yo. While it may have entertained the troops, it drowned out the real music of my soul. I couldn’t reach the higher notes in the symphony of life.

Whenever my Spirit began to rise, the internal conflict kicked in with its morbid music that went something like this: “You’re just not good enough,” “You’re not loving enough,” and “You’re not taking care of everybody the way you ought to.” The noise had become excruciating when a friend told me about a new wavelength called K-LOVE.

What I realized was that deep down, I had this silly belief that I didn’t deserve to be happy. I couldn’t love myself or anyone else because it would make me happy, and I was sabotaging myself because of it — a belief that I didn’t even know I had! After I changed the belief, I felt like a new person. A weight of negative feeling had literally been lifted from my shoulders. Tuned to K-LOVE instead of K-YCH!, I could hear my soul’s symphony once again without the phony feelings of guilt and sinfulness that had made me suffer.

Nobody wants to suffer, right? Well, wrong.

I told one of my friends about my new found happiness, saying I simply didn’t have the patterns of rage, longing, and inadequacy associated with painful loss anymore.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“Yes. I’m sure,” I said.

He squinted his eyes so much the safety pin in his eyebrow drooped. “But are you really sure?”

“Well, let me see….” I closed my eyes, examined my heart with a prod of pointed attention, and came up with…nothing. I opened my eyes and said, “Yes, at least for today, for right now, I’m having fun. I’m happy.”

To my dismay, he shook his head and said, “I don’t know. Maybe you ought to look deeper.”

“Why?” I asked. “If I’m happy, why should I go looking for things to be unhappy about?”

He leaned closer. “You could be in denial.”

“Denial of what?”

He bit the bolt in his lower lip and said, “Denial of your negative patterns.” In a fit of apparent self-puncturing, my friends’ lips and ears were pierced repeatedly from end to end and lobe to apex. He sported an array of things you’d find in a junk drawer — paper clips, screws, shoelaces and wingnuts – in various fleshy parts of his face. “Negative patterns are slippery,” he went on. “You have to dig down deep to find them sometimes.”

“Why would I want to go looking for negative patterns, unless there was something negative bothering me that I wanted to clear up?”

“The closer you get to the core, the easier it is to overlook stuff.” He said “stuff” as though he meant doo-doo, but was being polite.

“What’s wrong with overlooking stuff that makes me unhappy?”

He looked at me like I’d suggested he use Raid as an underarm deodorant. “Being happy isn’t all there is to life,” he said. “There’s global warming, war, suffering.”

“I know, but being unhappy isn’t going to change those things. I can be more help if I’m happy, don’t you think?”

“You miss my point. Life involves suffering. It’s not negotiable.”

“You mean I have to suffer to be happy?”

“NO! You have to suffer to stop suffering. To be happy you have to be unhappy first, and then your stuff comes up, which makes you suffer, so then you can learn to love and appreciate your happiness.”

“Are you saying I should love to suffer, or should I love to be happy?”

“No, no, no! You need to suffer to love, so you may as well love to suffer.”

“Why would anybody love to suffer?”

“Because that makes you happy… eventually.”

“Eventually, but not now?”

“Right.” He looked relieved. “That’s it.”

“I see. But why can’t I just be happy now?”

“Because you’re in denial!” His face screwed up and reddened.

“But I don’t feel like I’m in denial.”

Sweat ran down his cheeks, into his neck. I worried about the poor guy. His metal parts could rust.

“You can’t KNOW you’re in denial,” he shouted. “That’s why it’s called denial!”

I had to admit a worm of guilt was beginning to creep into the apple of my happiness. What was I overlooking? Maybe I was trying to cover something up! But then again, maybe not. I was feeling great before I started feeling guilty for not feeling guilty.

The biggest thing wrong with me had been thinking there was something wrong with me! Now, I could look at the old pattern of misplaced guilt, a fossil in a dusty back room in my mind, and think, Oh, how quaint. I’m glad I don’t have to grapple with that tired old tarantula anymore.

That thought gave me courage. “What if I’m not overlooking anything?” I asked my friend. “What if I’m really happy? Maybe I’m through with the negative patterns that made me unhappy.”

He was having none of it. “I’d look again if I were you. I think you may just be afraid to suffer, so you’re covering up your patterns.”

There was no sanity in arguing the subject. He seemed to be enjoying his hunt for negative patterns. Gurdjieff said once, “Man will give up almost anything but his suffering.” Let me add to that: “Women and men will dare almost anything, except their happiness.”

But just like everyone else, you can be unique!

Dare to be happy!

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