Sooooo, how many times have you heard “you reap what you sow” or “karma’s a bitch”? I’ve typically heard or thought it when I get a bad result shortly after having done some foul shit. Fact is, we’re ALWAYS sowing and karma isn’t a bitch, karma just is and everything is a result of something.
I, like most, have been conditioned to seek comfort and pleasure, this is what happiness is right? We’re told to get a good job (comfort) so you can get a good partner (pleasure) or those get-rich-quick schemes (comfort) and TV ads like “Life’s short, Play hard” (pleasure). This conditioning permeates decision making to a point that the root purpose of all I’ve done was to create comfortable to manifest pleasure. I’m thinking, what’s wrong with wanting to be comfortable and happy?
“Happiness eludes all those who seek it for its own sake. True happiness is the byproduct of the journey” ~ Matthew Kelly
Ironically, having happiness as the goal, the “I’ll be happy when...” mentality, leaves me waaay more vulnerable to unhappiness. Because it is a destination, what it looks and feels like has now been defined. Because it’s been defined, anything not as I’ve shaped it isn’t happiness to me. So not only have I closed myself off to the infinite other forms happiness available; I have simultaneously opened myself up to suffering in infinite forms of discontentment.
My regular paying job is as a server (waiter). I make jack shit hourly and rely on the generosity of others to make a living. So why do I serve? I adore people. I love meeting, connecting, and sharing awesome experiences with new people. As a server, this opportunity is offered in abundance. Altruistically, I get countless opportunities to make someone's day. Selfishly, it makes me genuinely gut/soul/heart happy when I do. I’ve also been fortunate to receive uncharacteristically large sums of money for my time spent with them. Not to undersell my appreciation for the ol moolah (cause boy do I appreciate the money), but because the value is in the interaction, I get true happiness from (almost) every table I wait on, regardless of the money.
That little nugget about my work is a super small scale example of a purpose, thought, action, and result process that is applicable on an overall existence level. Why we do what we do will determine who and how we are as people and dictate what our lives become.
I mentioned in the beginning about reaping what we sow and that being said, I’ve been playing with this concept to maximize true happiness. Three things I know to be fact: 1) We are interdependent beings. Interdependent, meaning we need each other (angels and assholes alike) to have the fullest and happiest life. 2) Everything is a seed. Every thought, word and action is going to garnish a return. 3) What we put out is what we get, at it’s very root (intent). If I do good for the sake of doing good, good comes to me. If I do good for what doing good brings me, I still receive good but it is conditional, shallow, and temporal. The same stands true for the bad.
In everything I’ve ever glazed over or really studied on behavioral expectations on a spiritual or moral level, one thing that is across all teachings is don’t deliberately cause damage. You know, Golden Rule/”Thou shalt not”, really basic stuff. It’s like the universal demand to not intentionally and inevitably invite bad into your life.
On the flip side, we have the option to invite good in with one (also really basic) prerequisite, do/think/speak good into the world around us. The only time this proves difficult is when offering that good seems to inconvenience, take away, or deter from personal happiness. Earlier we talked about missing out on happiness on account of an unwillingness to open up to the other forms of it. Well, imagine standing at the foot of a giant double-pan balance scale (you know, like the one ‘Lady Justice’ holds). In one pan is my definition of happiness and in the other is everything else in existence. The scale would greatly favor everything else in existence leaving my definition of happiness high overhead and far out of reach and everything else right there and easily accessible. We’re not, nor ever will be, required to compromise goals. But what we are surrounded by is a world to give to and find joy in. If we condition ourselves to try to find and give joy in all that we encounter, no matter where we’re headed or end up happiness will be who we are rather than what we receive.
So to sum this bad boy up, my belief, to have the fullest and happiest time on this earth comes with One Requirement and One Request:
The Requirement: Do no harm.
The Request: Love more shit.
Thanks For Reading!
I have the privilege of encountering mean people on a semi-daily basis. Working in customer service (restaurants and retail) I get to experience every mood. I call this a privilege because I recognize this as yet another growth opportunity (A.F.G.O. we’ll talk about this soon). It’s (fairly) impossible to completely avoid resentments, hurt feelings, and anger as these are all natural reactions to offensive actions and words. The hope here is to get a better understanding as to why and how to let it go and use it for growth.
As a starter, I need to acknowledge that the only way I can be impacted by someone’s words or actions is if they touch on something I already feel some type of way about. Yes, good old fashioned assholes exist and don’t need a direct prompt from me to be a dick but the only thing that should get any extended attention is the why it’s affecting me.
The beneficial side of their nasty words, actions, and attitudes are that they prompt me to do some self-assessing and brainwork to address some areas in me that obviously need attention. Such things as deep as self-confidence/esteem and unresolved thoughts and feelings about past situations to simpler things like sympathy, empathy, and patience. Whatever it is, now I have the opportunity to acknowledge, address, and improve it...growth (which is the purpose of this whole thing).
Fact: Mean People Suck! Not the actual person, but their actions. Another fact: Mean people dislike something about themselves and/or their life way more than the people they are unkind to. When they encounter people experiencing authentic comfort or joy in the areas of their own loath it causes so much internal/emotional pain that it triggers actual physical discomfort...misery. I believe that miserable people are hurtful and mean because they’re in pain. Though I understand the theory, I don’t know that I believe that misery actually loves company. I don’t think they’re direct objective is to make someone else feel like them more than it is to just stop the light from shining directly in the eye of their own issues.
When things get too uncomfortable there are 2 options, lower my standards to make the misery the new normal or change whatever in me to make myself happy. Mean people opt to adapt to the misery which makes actual happiness much harder to come by. I think this goes without saying but, it’s pretty hard to be pleasant when you feel like shit.
With this understanding, I can be more patient because I can totally empathize with not feeling well and that impacting my behaviors and interactions. I can also sympathize because it would really suck to have to live having my go-to feelings being uncomfortable and aggravated.
Rather than foster and embellish the problem I will try to be a part of a solution. The easier action step is to kill’m with kindness, in spite of. The other is to actively see where I can help to change it. Life is hard enough as it is and I need patience and understanding as much as the next (hu)man so it’s almost obligatory that I give it...and I become a better person because of it.
Thanks For Reading.