“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
Do you want to experience more happiness in your life? Of course! Who doesn’t want that? However, it’s not like you can wave a magic wand and now everything in your life is perfect. It’s more about learning to be happy even though your life is imperfect. To do this, you first have to take responsibility for the role you play in your own suffering. According to Eckhart Tolle, it’s not life’s situations that cause you to be unhappy, rather it’s your thoughts about these various situations that bring you down. Understanding this simple concept is one of the keys to inner freedom.
Problems, for the most part, exist as thought forms in your mind. Every so-called “problem” in your life exists primarily as a situation or as a set of circumstances. Situations and circumstances have no emotional weight of their own- good or bad, things simply are the way that they are. You suffer when you resist what already is.
As a reasonable and intelligent member of society, you have a pretty good idea of the way things should be. When the reality of the situation is different from your ideal, it makes you feel bad. That’s how people end up with the weight of the world on their shoulders- they falsely believe that their suffering over a set of circumstances somehow helps to solve the problem. But, all the stress and anxiety in the world is not going to change what has already happened. And feeling stressed out over the way things are right now has no measurable effect on what happens next.
When you live your life in perpetual acceptance, nothing can bother you anymore. You soon discover that your happiness is no longer reliant on outside circumstances, rather it relies upon your ability to create and maintain a state of inner harmony wherever you go. So, the next time that things go differently from the way you would prefer, try accepting the situation rather than rejecting it. It won’t change what just happened, but at least you will no longer have to suffer from it.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.