Happy and Contented
“We never know how things will turn out. All we can do is maintain our joy no matter what happens.”
Rabbi David A. Cooper (God Is A Verb)
Most of us live on an emotional roller coaster. When things are going well, we're happy and content, and when things are not going well, we're unhappy. When challenges appear, because life does bring challenges of all sorts, we tighten up, gird our loins, frown and prepare for a fight. We don't like challenges to our equilibrium. They cause a cascade of emotions from anger, to worry, to resentment and on down the line. After the challenge passes, and we return to balance, we once again feel contentment and, if not joy, at least satisfaction.
This avalanche of emotions represents closing and opening of our energy centers—particularly the heart center. When we are open, we feel happy and content, and when we are closed, we feel guarded and defensive. When we are around people we love and trust, we are open, and when we are around people who are in some way threatening to us, and there are many ways to be threatening, we close. But what if we were to make a choice to stay open no matter what? What if we were to choose to live with an open heart regardless of what goes on around us? Would we then be happy and content all the time? Because opening and closing is a choice we make—either consciously or unconsciously.
I know...I hear your skepticism—you can't trust everyone, you should be guarded around some people, you are never going to like it when someone you love is sick, or dying. And, you're right! My question is this; does that mean you have to close your heart? Does it mean you have to shut down your channel to joy? Or, can you leave it open and allow yourself to simply feel what you feel?
Rabbi David Cooper says, “...the pathway to our true destiny is joy. Indeed, joy and enthusiasm are important aspects of the spiritual path in many ways.” If we allow every unhappy turn of events to effect our personal contentment, we will never know what it's like to be filled up and overflowing with joy. People who are filled with happiness and contentment have contagious energy—it flows out of them and affects everyone around them. It's one way to bring positive change to our world, and to bring enthusiasm and excitement into our everyday, ordinary lives. Good choice, don't you think?
In the Spirit,