A ‘reflection’ with a song…
‘Don’t worry, be happy’ is a well known and beautiful statement. We hear it and we enjoy it, but when anything not so good happens to us, what do we actually do? We worry, and we are not very happy. And why shouldn’t we? We have so many problems, difficulties…we don’t have enough money, there are so many taxes to pay, so much corruption, so many things to do, so little time… Why shouldn’t we worry?
In order to stop worrying, one does not have to make a billion dollars. Some worries will certainly disappear, like the ones concerning food, shelter or clothes, at least as long as one has that money. But even the richest of people in the world can get sick, loose their money, get old…The truth is that we don`t worry because we have more or less money; we worry because of our wrong understandings of some of the basic principles of life. And no matter how often we hear a beautiful song like ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ as long as we keep misunderstanding those basic principles, we will keep worrying, and we will not be very happy.
One of the most basic misunderstandings is the belief that what happens in a particular moment IS our doing when, in reality, the only thing that is up to us in any situation is to do the best we can, to make the highest effort that we are able to do at any particular moment, but then the result of those actions, the results of our efforts are not in our power but are completely dependant on Life. (Please see The Ocean http://blog.yogaofpresence.com/2012/04/17/the-ocean/)
What is this ‘Life’?
At any moment, the only thing that is in our power is to do our best, and this best is done based on what Life has provided for us.
For example, to do our best our only possibility is to use our body and our mind, but the possibilities and potentials of our body and mind are given by Life.
We are all born with a certain kind of body, different from the rest. Some body-minds are good at mathematics; some are good at thinking; some are good at feeling; some are good at sports; some are physically strong, some are emotionally strong, some are strong willed, some are weak willed. We all like to say: ‘I’m like this or like that’, but any virtue or weakness we have has been given to us by Life. Some people may like to argue that in many cases there are lots of efforts behind success. Yes, no doubt about it, but who gave us the possibility to make those efforts? Why are some people able to make lots of efforts and some people are not? Who gave us the energy and the will to do those efforts? Where do they come from? One day, often around our teenage years, we suddenly realized we can do some things and can’t do some others, and then we learn to call those things ‘me’. But where do they actually come from? They come from Life, they are given by Life, they are a gift from Life.
At any moment, when we want to do something, that certain something will be done according to the body and mind we have been given.
Add to these body-mind characteristics a certain environment we were born in: our mother, father, teacher, neighbors, the city, the country, the year, and the whole background that creates certain tendencies…these are not things that we can choose. You suddenly appeared in Bucharest, for instance. I suddenly appeared in Buenos Aires, having a mother and a father that I didn’t personally choose. My parents had certain characteristics, and they transferred some of them to me, willingly or unwillingly. Many of my responses today come from my parents. Sum to that the characteristics of my body-mind and the result is only a very limited range of possibilities to respond to things.
And there is more. In order for anything to happen, the whole universe had to allow that particular thing to happen. (Again, see The Ocean http://blog.yogaofpresence.com/2012/04/17/the-ocean/) Millions and billions of things had to happen in order for this particular moment to exist, in order for you to be here right now and to hear this words or to be reading this text.
Worries are based on the fear of unfulfilled desires. But when I DEEPLY UNDERSTAND that every desire I have can only do what it can do at any particular moment according to the will of the Total, then my worries cease to have the weight to pull me down. They may still surface in my mind, but now I have the understanding that whatever I do is the best I can do at any particular moment according to the Whole. An action is always up to me, but the result of that action is independent of my will, depending entirely on the Total. If this is the case, then, why worry? Do what you have to do, do your best, and let Life take care of the rest.
The song continues: ‘Don’t worry… be happy’.
When we think about being happy, the kind of happiness that comes to our minds is often a fizzy, gleaming emotion, one that may be here today but will very probably be gone tomorrow. We drink a couple of beers and feel happy. We get a raise at our job and feel happy. Somebody tells you that they love you and you feel happy…but the next day the same person change their mind and tells you it actually doesn’t like you that much, and you get depressed. Most of our days are neither happy moments nor sad moments, but black and white, unremarkable moments when we hope we can avoid unpleasant situations and look for ways to make those situations high, to make them happy.
But this is not what happiness is.
Happiness is actually the default state of our being. Just like blue is the default color of the sky (at least according to the perception of our eyes) happiness is the default state of our being. On a cloudy day, when the sky looks dark, it is not actually that the sky has changed the color, but there are clouds covering its real being, which is blueness. The clouds represent our worries; when we stop worrying, we are happy. Happiness is actually a sense of contentment, a sense of satisfaction, an understanding (something that happens in our heart rather than in our head) that this moment is as perfect as it can be, because it is the will of the Total. When we understand that every moment IS the whole of Life, that every moment IS the whole universe coming together, then the default feeling appears in our being: the sense of contentment with things as they are in this moment, a sense of satisfaction of having done everything that was up to me according to my possibilities and the will of the Whole.
Being happy means to always be content, knowing that I`m doing my best…knowing that this best does not depends on me, but that it depends entirely on the Whole.
In the deepest of my understandings, I know that every moment is as perfect as it can be.
And as the song says, ‘don’t worry, be happy’.