"Oh, I don't really think about that, because it's wasted energy, isn't it? What's done is done, we can't change that, but we can change the way we cope with it."
- Diane Piper, mother of Katie whose face was burnt in an acid attack, when asked how she felt about the attackers
Everyone has challenges. Everyone has troubles in their life.
But what amazes and inspires me is seeing people who have lived or are living through horrific things and yet who shine, full of gratitude and love for their life, as it is.
You might call them “glass half full” people.
Then there are those with comparatively event free lives who grumble and complain through every little inconvenience: “Glass half empty” people.
Why is that?
You constantly choose your response to life.
This choice defines how you live, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. This choice is total: You decide whether you live in peace or in suffering. No one and nothing can cause you to suffer; you decide to suffer.
I know it doesn’t feel like this. No one wants to suffer, everyone is looking for a way to avoid it. The trouble is we don’t know how.
Furthermore, suffering has become normal, it’s almost expected as “part of life”.
Being constantly happy is viewed with suspicion by some. If you decide not to suffer it’s almost like you’re not being “real”, whatever that is.
Once, a friend of mine who realised it was her choice to be totally at peace with the world was taken aside by a acquaintance in the street and asked if she was on drugs.
Bizarre isn't it? Happy lady, walking down the street = must be on drugs.
But definitely those, like Buddha and Jesus, who have transcended suffering are elevated to a mythical status, beyond humanity.
Actually, it’s your human birthright not to suffer.
Your birthright is to have absolute sovereignty over your responses to life. Complete freedom from suffering is simple.
It all begins with you deciding to take responsibility for how you feel, how you react to life.
Don’t take this decision lightly - it means you can never blame anyone else for anything. It’s all on you.
Then, decide that nothing will make you happy - you won’t delay your happiness for a future moment, you’ll find happiness right now, however your circumstances.
No longer will you wait for your partner or a new TV to make you happy. Now you’re going to choose to have happiness that is uncaused.
That is it. Take responsibility for your own happiness, and then choose it.
You will come to a point where you'll realise that to choose anything else is madness. And therein lies true wisdom.