Day 20 of 29 Days of Spiritual Messages.
We are either practicing the Presence of the Sacred or Its Absence.
There’s no middle ground.
How does this translate into daily life?
Ask yourself if you are content.
Today’s tidbit of wisdom comes from Abraham Lincoln, when he says: “Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
We are only as happy as we want to be.
Making up our minds to be happy means we don’t need to look any further than ourselves. Abe’s statement implies choice. Either we choose to be happy, or we don’t. Happiness is entirely up to us. We are in charge of it, not anyone or anything else.
So, why do so many people feel that they just don’t have enough? Why isn’t enough enough?
Because they are practicing Absence rather than Presence.
They’ve latched onto attachment, and they can’t let go. Well, let me rephrase that. They won’t let go. They’ve become attached to being attached to outward things that they think, feel, or believe will make them happy.
Yet, when they attain those things, they’re still not happy (though they may be temporarily). When that temporary feeling wears off, they begin seeking once more. It’s an exercise in futility, not fulfillment.
Anyone in a state of seeking can never be truly happy; they’re so busy acquiring things that they don’t have the time to appreciate what they already have. Their minds are constantly focusing on the next prize. They get attached to the outcome. They get addicted to attachment. If they didn’t, they would be resting in what they already have; they would find that they have enough.
Practicing Presence is not about unnecessary self-denial. There’s nothing wrong with having money or possessions; although, some people do go to the other extreme, thinking that to be spiritual means living a life of renunciation, where they give up or avoid gifts, money, experiences, and people in fear of being selfish or attached. They become attached to not being attached.
Practicing Presence is about taking responsibility for our own happiness. It’s not about seeking happiness; it’s about allowing ourselves to be happy. If we are to be happy, then we are to do things that make us happy. If we do things that contribute to our unhappiness, then we will feel it going against the grain of our core, and we will remain unhappy unless we make the necessary changes, whatever they may be.
Practicing Absence leaves a void to be filled. Without self-examination, we find ourselves filling this void with things that do not last. We may even try to numb the emptiness with drugs, alcohol, or other addictive substances or behaviors.
Practicing Presence fills this void with the champagne of joy that bubbles up from within and spills outward into our lives. We find ourselves filled with gratitude for what we have and for who we are. Our perspective evolves. Our lives change.
When we choose to be happy, we practice Presence in our lives. We allow Presence to work its mystery. We allow it to guide us. We allow it to create with us and for us. We move from futility to fulfillment.
I’ll toast to that.