The Absence of Happiness


The word absence on missing puzzle piece. Business concept.

Every person living in one capacity or another is on a quest for happiness. Happiness is the hallmark of all human beings. Absent happiness man merely exists. Yet for all that a man seeks for he often fails to eliminate the one thing that hinders and stymies his happiness. He thinks that happiness is something to be pursued rather than something that appears once the obstacles to its attainment are removed. That which obscures and blocks happiness is always fear; fear lived and entertained in the hearts of men. Fear is an illusion and once the illusion has had its way, happiness is lost and will not return until the fear is overcome. Fear is the absence of happiness.

Life is to be lived in motion. As long as a man or a woman keep moving forward, their happiness will continue to appear encouraging them to continue. In contrast, fear works to slow one’s progress and brings men’s lives to a standstill. Fear removes the energy from life by stealing. It is always an illusion, a threat and impedance to the things people really want in their lives. Fear is a parasite leeching enthusiasm and joy from its host. Because it is not real it can only work when people give it energy. Thus entertained it feeds off the one indulging it. People are worn out by fears and worries more so than any hard work or effort. The emptiness and futility a man feels inside comes not because the pursuit of life is futile, but rather because fear causes it to appear so. Fear paints a despairing view of the future which further serves to steal away life. The reason a person feels they have nothing to look forward to in life is because they have believed the illusion. Otherwise what would stop a man or a woman from expecting good things? Fear is also an expectation, but an expectation of bad things instead of the good. The sure sign that fear is holding sway in your heart is the noticeable lack of energy and vitality in your life. Life and enthusiasm return when the fear has been excavated from your mind. There is not a need to do more, be more or pursue more, but instead a requirement to rid yourself of the impediment. Fear, your fear, is the cause for your absence of happiness. Fear is the cause for the absence of happiness in all people.

Fear, the enemy’s greatest weapon, works by deception. In order to overtake your free will, it has to deceive you into cooperating with it. Even a child knows the importance of dealing with various fears as soon as they show up. Children immediately seek an escape from it. Yet adults, presumably because they think they know better, find ways to work around it or dull themselves to its effects. People do all kinds of things to escape from fear except the one thing they need to do which is to eliminate it! People anesthetize themselves with alcohol, drugs, sex, food; anything that offers promise to take away the effects, if even only for a short while. Fear runs the systems of the world and controls the world by fear. These systems, these bulwarks of error, keep men slaves their entire lifetimes. If you want to force a man or a woman to do something, make them afraid. Promote the things that scare them then offer them an antidote which will never take away fear but rather encourage its existence and power over people. Fear is neither natural nor normal, but we act as if it is. There was a time when you were not afraid until you learned to think otherwise. Fear is always learned either by ignorance or by wrong teaching. Remember fear is an illusion, a lie, a falsehood being palmed-off as truth. As such it cannot exist on its own. The only way to counter fear is by learning the truth. The truth brings light and clarity into the situation. You would not fear walking off the edge of a cliff in the daytime, but in the darkness the odds increase greatly. In the same way, once you have light in your mind it becomes much easier to see the fear for what it really is; a groundless, empty threat. Fear is the absence of life; real life.

As you consider these words, you may feel as if they do not apply to you. You think this way because fear has such a stronghold on the way we think that we often can no longer even recognize its existence. Yet the acid test, the true barometer is found by how you live day by day. Are your days full of enthusiasm and energy with boundless possibilities or are your days filled with boredom and declining motivation and negative expectations? Do you wake in the morning excited for the day and what treasures it might bring or do you awaken the same way you always do with little to look forward to, tired of life and its apparently endless struggles? Boredom and listlessness have their roots in fear. Fear puts a cap on your happiness and your ability to find the things that excite you. Similarly, endless worry about things is never benign as worry slows your progress and brings your life to a standstill. Show me a person besieged with boredom for living, finding ways to pass the time and I’ll show you a person that has too much worry and fear in their heart. Absent the fear and worry they would see life for what it is, a precious commodity to be enjoyed and relished. Fear has many levels and a multitude of faces, but its results are always the same, less life, less possibility, less happiness to those in bondage to it. Fear is the absence of possibility.

As with many of the problems with which we encounter, fear being our number one problem, the solution is often found when we finally get honest with ourselves and with God. If your life is miserable for any reason at this present moment, fear is involved in some way. Just get honest and admit it. All of us have fear at one time or another and all of us have been held captive by its claims. There’s no shame in admitting we are afraid. The shame enters in when we allow fear to continue controlling us and defeating us when help is available. Once we finally get honest with ourselves and then with God (who knows anyway), we can find the solutions we need in every case. God would not tell us so many times to “fear not” if He did not also have the answers we need and the power to bring them to pass. With God there is nothing to fear in this life and once we finally escape its clutches we find life, our life and happiness quickly return. In your sincere quest for happiness and enjoyment in life, do the one thing you need to do to ensure its continuance. Abolish and eliminate fear whenever and wherever it appears. Remove it from your heart, that great citadel for your life and find again the life you once enjoyed as a child. Once the fear is gone there is no absence of happiness remaining.

Just some good thoughts…

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Life in Your Sixth Decade…


Family 1Having just recently entered my second year in my sixth decade (happy birthday to me), I thought it might be good to reflect on the past year. Something about the sixth decade that causes you to take pause and think about things more than you have ever done in the past. Not thinking you would ever actually be this old, you start to learn some things you probably should have learned years ago. Last year was a year of intense learning and untold insights for me concerning life and living. And, at the risk of bringing you into an idea mosh pit, I’m going to share some of those things with you. 

Maybe the most profound thing I began learning this year was how to escape from mental and spiritual bondage. You don’t really know that you are all tied up when you are all tied up. You sort of need something outside of yourself (thanks God) to shed some light on your darkness and make things that have become invisible, visible again. Suddenly you begin to recognize stuff you do with no love in it. You begin to discern how fear is making all the choices. Your enjoyments become less and less and all that you do comes into question. Freedom exists on the other side of all that. Fear only gains power over you when you give it head space. You have to entertain it, talk with it, mull it over a bit, really try to reason it out, but when you do, fear always wins. Overcoming fear, which equals overcoming bondage, which equals gaining freedom, happens first in your mind and then in your heart. You have to put a complete end to fearful considerations, which equals worrying about future events, which equals being driven to behaviors and performance in order to be okay. Fear is such a slippery creature and can attach itself to things you may not have thought of before, yet there it lurks pulling the strings in your life and leading you away from the things you really want. The good Lord has set us free from all that garbage, if we only knew it. 

I was blessed to have the opportunity to rethink and relearn what it means to believe God. I already knew that to be able to receive something from God, you had to believe that God both could and would do it for you. What it really meant to believe God was the mystery for me. It’s not some type of powerful thinking or willing or demanding etc. It’s not checking to see if you doubt it or maybe aren’t fully persuaded. It’s not a good feeling or a bad feeling. It has little if anything to do with your feelings. It’s not magic or mystique. It’s more of a dogged determination. It is to keep saying what you want, not what you wish would go away, until you get it. As a wonderful man once said, “dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light!” Spending all day confessing all that is wrong, every place you are dissatisfied, what you don’t like, what you wish would stop, what you wish would start, what you really, really need, all point back squarely to the darkness that engendered it to begin with. Do you think the obstacles you encounter in life are simply random? Believing is not saying what you need over and over and over again. Believing is saying what God’s Word says about your situation. If you have a need, God knows what it is already. You simply keep repeating His promise to supply all of your need which aptly applies to your situation. You’re not following a formula until the magic happens. You’re not saying it out loud to people as proof that you believe it when, deep down, you know you don’t. Instead you are saying God’s promise, which equals light, to yourself until the darkness has to flee. You’re not going to beat the devil with your adamancy, I can assure you of that. You just dwell on what you want and continue dwelling on it, until it comes to pass. There’s no time limit. There’s no secret recipe. There’s no mystery or intrigue. You don’t have to perpetually wonder if you are “believing.” Those mental games lead nowhere and produce nothing. You just keep after what you need faithfully backing it with promises from God’s Word. All the rest is simply accepting the fact that it won’t come to pass. All the rest! Believing God has to be simple because truth is always simple and plain. Error is complicated. Fear is complicated. Bondage is complicated. That thing you need so desperately, God already knows you need so desperately. Turn on the light by adding in the light. Keep saying what God says in your mind and what God says will get into your heart. Believing comes from your heart. 

Next, and certainly not in importance, I learned how much I valued and treasured my private time with God in the mornings. For me, as you might expect from a writer, I prefer to write in my journal and share my heart with God. It is my attempt at “Morning Pages” as was so beautifully outlined by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way. Morning Pages are my opportunity to talk things over with my Papa (God). I ask Him questions often and He is faithful always to answer (always). He listens (patiently) to my complaints and whining at times and still, gently, always supplies me with what I need to know or often what is really behind the things that befall me. What I learn on those sweet mornings is not always revolutionary, but often subtle insights and unveilings that meet my needs perfectly. It is so honest, so pure, so refreshing. We all need to talk with our Father at times and we are never the less for doing so. Some mornings I have to miss it and I miss it. Some mornings I’m like the psalmist that begins in despair but ends in victory. What I know for sure is that I need God’s involvement in life and we just happened upon a medium that makes us both happy. (I assume God knows I am a writer!) However you choose to do it or not do it is entirely up to you. But, if you are willing to reach outside of yourself for the answers, you will surely find as I found, God is there. 

Many of my other lessons came in a variety of settings. Each time it was gentle, easy to be intreated, something I could grasp and benefit from and never to condemn me. I learned that all fun has an endpoint and pressing beyond the endpoint doesn’t produce more fun. I understood that moderation has both freedom and limits. I learned that loving God, loving your fellow man and doing as you dang fool please had a lot of depth to it. I learned that God never expected me to be a perfect man, but rather believe in what a perfect man did for me. It finally dawned on me that you cannot add to “it is finished.” I recognized that relationships are two way streets and that sometimes you are the problem. I began to dare to follow God’s advice in no longer judging myself and even learned to extend that to other people. My own shenanigans alone attest to that reality. I learned that it’s not so much what people think about you as it is what you think about yourself. Self doubt is learned and can be unlearned. I saw that God was pretty dang good at taking care of me and my family. I understood that God meets you right where you are and for that I am immeasurably thankful. It became so vivid that God’s will for my life was that I enjoy it as much as I could, whenever I could. How many times he whispered, “enjoy your life.” I learned that my life was my choice and that nothing was supposed to intervene in that. I began a greater appreciation for my family and my friends and endeavored to show love whenever I could. I went on trips, I basked on beaches on both coasts, I traveled, we traveled, hosted parties, made hundreds of Old Fashioneds, spoke kind words to the weary, entertained guests, ate at restaurants, played many rounds of golf (never actually improving, but enjoying it nonetheless!), spent time with the likeminded,  and many more things that would mark a truly blessed life. I had my share of troubles, was pressed at times, afraid, unsure, bewildered, anxious and plain old pissed, but those times never lasted and I was always able to get back to my light, back into the fight. I guess looking back, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Life is good my friends, so good. 

Six decades of living doesn’t produce the best skin, the best hair or the best body, but it does produce a depth of soul you may have never encountered before. It provides you with a time to reflect, to look back, to remember, to embrace and to wish you would have known better. You start to see that every day living is a good day and that life is that much better with God in it. You wish you could say and do all the things your heart always wanted you to do, but at the same time understand that you can do it now. All of us need love and we can only give it when we have it to give. Life is best lived above bondage and fear, but you have to get there when you get there and hopefully it is sooner than later. None of that stuff that has been dragging you down comes from God and if you will let Him, He will change your life forever. I love God and I love you. (M 60’s)

Just some good thoughts…

Hey Happiness, Where are You?


Jan21_12_525848907Happiness is probably the most sought after thing in the world. Thus, the sum of all questing can be found in successfully answering the one simple question, “Why am I not happy?” People attribute a myriad of reasons for not finding happiness ranging from not having enough money to not having the right relationship yet often they fail to find happiness while enjoying both. Is it really the absence of something you want that thwarts or retards your efforts in finding happiness or is it something else? Is happiness something that just sort of falls upon you when the circumstances are favorable or is there more to the story you have thus far failed to consider? What if the pursuit of your long lost happiness is not based on any of these things at all? Is it possible that the happiness that is your birthright eludes you because something or someone is stealing it from you? Oh hey happiness, where are you?

In order to be truly happy you first have to become free. Wherever and whenever you enjoy freedom your happiness will be evident. Your mind, your heart functions best when it is unencumbered or held back by any constraints. Think back to those times in your life when you experienced abundant happiness. It is safe to say that in those times of almost unending happiness, you were also virtually carefree in your approach to life. You were not dragging around a litany of complaints concerning your situation, nor were you full of fear concerning your future. You enjoyed who you were and where you were in life. You didn’t fill your mind with expectations about what you should be and you were not comparing yourself to others. In those times, your heart was not burdened or overloaded with cares and you just expected things to work out. In fact, you didn’t give the possibility of things not working out any space between your ears. You refused entree’ to the dark side of life and trusted that good things were probably preparing for you. In this you lived as God would have you to live! And in unity with that type of thinking your happiness overflowed and filled your soul. Then, as time marched on, imperceptibly at first, your thinking began to change. You recalled your early years as fanciful and lacking the mature thought that accompanied adulthood. You regaled thoughts of seriousness and responsibility and concerned yourself with “realism” more in accordance with the mechanisms of the world you observed, convincing yourself that adult thought must also take into consideration all of the multitude of pitfalls that could befall a person in life and in so doing unknowingly traded away your happiness for fear.

The number one cause and in many instances the only cause for your complete lack of happiness is fear. Look no further. End the research project early. It is fear that manages to suck the life out of God’s creation and it is fear that is impeding you today. Oh it doesn’t look like fear or seem to fit the accepted definition of fear, but it is still fear. Unresolved fear and its myriad companions work behind the scenes to put limits on your existence and to freeze you in your tracks. Fear impedes and thwarts your forward progress. Fear adds clouds to your sunny days; steals your energy for doing; casts dispersions on your good enjoyed and threatens your future. Fear locks you into a prison, a prison you cannot easily discern yet confines you just the same. Fear adds a “yes, but” and puts a question mark where an exclamation point belongs. As fear’s prisoner, you are no longer free to enjoy your life in the moment or your accomplishments. You have a difficult time enjoying anything because of the carefully crafted restraints that have been built into your thinking. You are or have become a prisoner in a self-made prison hole. You perpetuate the lie that fear is by your persistence in giving it entree’ into your mind. You think fear; look for fear; believe fear and live a life controlled by fear! You are not happy because fear has gained ascendency in your life. Instead of doing what you would like to do, pursuing things that make your heart sing, living as a truly free man or woman, you live a life controlled by fearful thinking threatening to break up and destroy all that is beautiful and good. In this you have become a slave, a slave to fearful thinking and subsequent fearful actions. Every move you make in fear produces more fear and it seems as if there is no escape. In this you are unhappy and will remain unhappy until you can finally understand what is going on! Fear is a liar and is the cause behind every unhappiness there is.

Whether you like it or not or believe it or not, fear is the veiled intruder you have overlooked. Fear must be challenged and overcome. Every happy person you know has overcome at least some if not all of its claims. In order to be a free person you have to be free from fear. As long as there is some aspect of life that frightens you or has the power to stall your efforts, you will remain bound. You have to take it on! And the number one method for defeating fear is not found in your bravado or recklessness or unrelenting discipline, it is found in your resolute decision to stop giving it access to your life. Stop entertaining it, playing with it, considering it and giving it space. How quickly a pleasant day or pleasant time is cut short by the entrance of some unreasonable fear thought left unchecked. How miserable a life becomes when fear puts its shackles around your free will and stops your enjoyments and your fun. The absence of your happiness alone is sufficient evidence that fear has its claws on you, grasping you and robbing you of all of your joy. The escape you seek; the freedom your heart desires; the happiness that eludes you is found on the other side of that fear that has been controlling your life. Take your life back!

The number one enemy that you must contend with in this life is fear. You don’t have to work hard to produce happiness, happiness comes naturally as a result of your freedom. Once you begin to finally escape the tyranny of things and extricate yourself from the clutches of fear, you will find your happiness returns like the carefree smile on a child’s face, unencumbered by the innumerable illusions concerning what can go wrong and why. God has called you and I to freedom whereby He can bestow all manner of goodness upon us as any loving Father would desire. Seek God’s help to overcome your fear and, for goodness sakes, be honest with Him about how you have been living. All human beings will be confronted with fear and the good Lord knows that. But enduring happiness is found in them obey God’s great command to “fear not” and choose love instead. Do you want to find your missing happiness? Get rid your fear…

Just some good thoughts…

Is There Fear in Your Future?


futureIt has been oft reported that  ‘fear’ is false evidence appearing real (F.E.A.R.)! As I wrestled that around in the darkness, suddenly it dawned on me, all fear exists only in the future. That is precisely why fear is always false evidence, because it exists only in a time that has not yet arrived. Even fear of the past is in reality fear of its effect on your future and the present moment is occurring now. Is there fear in your future?

Of all the things in life, in all the details, in every aspect and facet of living, the number one enemy you must fight and overcome is fear! All that you do not have or cannot do or are unable to overcome is always based on fear. Fear is the great killer of ambition and desire and your future! Fear persisted in will bring with it all the defeat you have ever imagined. As long as you have fear whether it be in the form of anxiety or worry or concern falsely called, you cannot have peace. Fear is the great antithesis to love, not hate. Fear is a falsehood, a lie at the very core of life, robbing it of its vitality and enthusiasm. Fear is wrong and most unnatural.  Fear is sin.

The problem with fear in your life is that it is a form of believing, but is its opposite. What good things you can believe for without limit, have their parallel in what awful things you can fear (believe) without limit! The longer you hold onto your fear, the greater the likelihood of its appearance into your life. And, even if you never quite arrive at all the terrible things you have imagined, you will endure a terrible ride on the way there. Your fear encourages and invites disaster. And just as your positive believing invites God and His blessings into your life, your negative believing; your anxiety and worry and fear invite the adversary into your life in the form of all types of misery and sickness and suffering.

Fear is a false evidence because it is always a threat to your future. It growls of some impending disaster. It roars predictions of future suffering and lack. It shouts how your needs will not be met. It cannot know this of course, as only God knows the future, so “it” is counting on you to help make the threat a reality. The way you ignorantly cooperate is by accepting the lie as truth and holding onto it instead of discarding it. It’s a really sticky trick. Your human ego, once threatened, will insist on trying to figure it out. Thus it will demand you think about it and think about it until you can solve it. However, you are not going to figure it out with your mind, as its origin is spiritual. Instead your ego driven insistence will result in keeping the wrong thought in your mind, which is all fear needs to take hold. It begins with a knock at your door called doubt. It gets a foot in the door as you worry. Finally it gets inside fully once you are afraid. At that point you’ve been captured! Then, fear’s companion anxiety is knocking on your door and your windows and your garage all at once. It is simply many fears you have misplaced by your refusal to deal with them, one by one, in the moments they approached. You have to deal with them. There is no other way out.

All throughout history, men and women have been admonished to fear not! In order to beat it, you have to depend upon something bigger than yourself. On your own, you won’t really get the job done. Oh you can muster up all the bravado you can imagine, but in the end you need spiritual power to defeat spiritual power. You need Someone that exists in your past, your present and your future, all at the same time. (Don’t even try to wrap your head around that one) You need to be able to give all that care to someone else. And therein is your solution! You have to hand it over and once you realize you have taken it back, hand it over again! Prayer isn’t, as I read recently, just some psychological process to help you feel better. The idea behind prayer is that God will actually do something about that which concerns you. Otherwise, why even pray? When you finally let God preserve your future like He promises, you will find yourself at rest. Unrest is thus a signal that there is something you need to handle or resolve. Often your solution is simply to stop persisting in your dreadful considerations. Refuse to scratch that itch. Letting it go isn’t negligence, it’s wisdom. In terms of the thought, sure that would be awful on an epic scale, but it hasn’t actually happened right? (Notice I left out “yet”) It’s false evidence! Not worthy of your mental considerations… You have to let it go! Now…

It may seem simplistic, but God’s solutions are always simple and clear. Error is complicated! Error is what produces the mind boggle and keeps you up all night! Lies, artfully presented, designed to hold your interest based on some vague possibility in your reality, are still lies. They began as untrue and will remain untrue if you can get this right! Dread or worry about some potential future day have never in the history of existence helped a difficult situation get better. Help is found in the quiet. Answers arrive when you settle down. Solutions come from the “still small voice.”

Is there fear in your future? Get rid of it today! Find that promise of God that negates your fear and say it to the thing until it retreats! Say it today, my friend… Today!

JUST SOME GOOD THOUGHTS…