“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ― Lao Tzu
I’ve spent my life questioning people who stand out. I am continuously asking questions and seek the insights of unique and special people. Several years ago I ran into a rather gruff old gentleman whose heart shined to me, so I asked him to have breakfast with me. After ordering our meal and a bit of small talk, I asked him if he was happy. He snorted almost angrily, “Hell no, I’m not happy! Are you nuts?” I was a little confused and a little put off, but intrigued. I was thinking that perhaps I had I misread this man’s shining heart (it happens). Before I could collect my thoughts, he quickly barked, “But I am content, Son!” He then explained to me with precise eloquence, “People have it all wrong; they look outside of themselves expecting to find happiness while they futilely chase this fleeting and elusive emotion called happiness. This quest for happiness only ensures a perpetual sense of disappointment in their life because happiness is not sustainable!”
He further lamented, “We live in illusions, but more importantly…..we live in the illusion that we are what we feel instead of what we are committed to; and that…” (he paused with a lump in his throat….) “is a large reason for humanity’s stunted growth.” Then his voice kicked up with passion and said, “All emotions are fleeting; happiness is like a drug; sadness is like a drug. These emotions come and go and wear off just as fast! Babies are born, people die, weddings happen and funerals occur.” He carried on saying, “This is life…… This is simply life happening and you here are to find contentment.”
Then he mused, “During these life experiences, I feel fleeting moments of happiness or sadness; yet regardless of how I feel, I’m content!” I was all ears as he locked eyes with me and then said in a low voice, “What’ll wipe out that contentment in a heartbeat… is spiritual complacency, lack of gratitude, and my own runaway thoughts.” Next he reflected to himself and calmly said, “This is why I fall to my knees every day in pure gratitude, while praying and meditating with God for guidance, insight, humility and wisdom.”
I was speechless, trying to soak in the wisdom of his words. This felt right. Part of me acted like I fully understood as I stared back, but I didn’t REALLY FULLY get it. After a minute I asked, “What did you mean about your thoughts?” The man said, “Oh that… I stopped listening to the voice between my ears a long time ago because it tries to tell me that I’m flawed and inadequate instead of a beautiful loving child of God.”
Wow… he was serious! That man had no idea how much he changed the course of my life right then and there. I fell to my knees that night and I have never stopped. From that day forward I knew that I’d never live in the illusion of looking outside for happiness and solace again. Instead I’ll readjust my awareness inside…… to the compassion, love, and contentment that was always there… and always will be. To the part that’s…… me, my heart. Instead I’ll begin to intimately develop a relationship with my heart and figure out how to commune with God, or whoever created me for guidance (I really had no clue at the time about whom or what God was to me).
This daily practice soon helped me awaken my heart, detach from “life happening to me,” and I began to stop listening to the non-stop chattering voice between my ears that tries to tell me that I am frightened, unworthy and inadequate. Life began to happen through me and the Miraculous flow of Abundance began to flood my life. There is nothing mystical here; I merely began to align to spiritual law by doing what he said.
Over ten years later, my life has exploded because of a collection of experiences like this from asking questions. This is God speaking to us through others; this is God’s Providence. Always listen for God’s whisper through others!