Life led me to assume that other people, places and events are responsible for my happiness. This week I found a personal key that changed this perspective and brought me to freedom. Read more here…There is an innocent way that I’ve assumed other people, places and events are responsible for my happiness. I notice the erratic rising and falling of my inner contentment based on what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it with. All my decisions about who I spend time with and what I do have been attempts to mitigate this painful up and down. As good willed as each decision has been, they have also been certain to fail, corroded by the incorrect premise that underpins them.
No-one else is responsible for my Happiness
This week my spiritual bank account ran dry because of this outlook. It ran dry because I wasn’t taking responsibility for keeping it filled up. I had passed that responsibility to my new job. Until Wednesday it seemed a reasonable expectation (that I innocently held) to believe “I have a Spiritual job. It will nourish me”. The only thing was – it didn’t. The day-to-day tasks of developing an organisation, working with new people, and growing a “Spiritual” Festival had completely depleted me. My spiritual bank account ran dry.
My life seized up like an engine without oil. Every relationship felt hard. Work tasks became impossible. I did two things at this time. I dramatically and reactively played out my most consistent defensive strategies AND I maturely sought support.
The dramatic reaction I came up with matched my beliefs about the world and my typical defensive strategy. It always will. * I threw around blame, over-planned myself into knots and mentally drafted my resignation. My actions were fair reflections that I was not coping. They showed me my Spiritual Bank Account was empty.
Coping on an empty Spiritual Bank Account is like
Trying to save bath water in a leaky bucket, after someone’s pulled the plug out.
The mature action involved an email to my teacher, Jason Shulman, requesting to “borrow some discernment” , a phone call to an astute friend, Rob, and some positive literature, namely Benjamin Zander’s “Art of Possibility”. Through these supportive interactions I saw / realised/ awakened to the fact that I’ve never taken responsibility for my own spiritual fulfilment. (aka Happiness)
That may be an odd thing to hear from someone who’s studied spiritual matters and dedicated himself to personal development work for the past 10 years. Yet it’s absolutely true. There has been a subtle way that I’ve expected and demanded of my employers, my teachers, my classmates and even my clients that they be responsible for nourishing my spiritual bank account.
Because I believed that the “topping-up” was someone else’s responsibility, I’ve been limited in my choice of work, partners and clients. I had to seek environments that I believed would fulfil this specific personal requirement for spiritual nourishment. When they no longer did this, I had to leave to avoid depletion.
That which I feared most has happened.
It revealed itself to be the kindest of teachers.
The result is that I’ve had a week of two halves. The first half being full of despair as I reached a depleted emptiness. In the turning point I found that I really want the responsibility for nourishing myself spiritually. I recognised that I know exactly how to do this, and I started my daily practice of self-nourishment. The second half has been blessed with an unwavering, deep, stable happiness.
I’m thrilled to find this personal key. If you’d like help looking for yours, please call.