The Courage to Be Happy

Written by Gede Prama

“Have I ever been happy?” – that’s a very touching question from a friend. In an era with a higher average level of education, a question is usually a more honest reflection of one’s situation inside compared to an answer. This friend’s question tells a lot of things. First, his seeds of happiness are small and rarely nurtured. Second, he has grown in an environment that does not support seeds of happiness to blossom. Third, as a result of a long-term learning and conditioning process, this friend resembles a fish in the ocean that does not know what water is. Especially because life itself is actually happiness. Of course that’s only if a person nurtures the seeds of happiness inside and finds an environment that allows the seeds of happiness to grow beautifully.

Feeling alienated in one’s own body

Nearly every friend who was asked to write about who she is, was trapped in the stories of historical self (I was born here, went to school there, etc.), logical self (making justifications of herself), emotional self (I am often sad, I have a happy family, etc). And almost all such stories about the self are the result of imitating others, especially parents. That is why in a very large percentage it can be seen that, if the parents are full of anger, the children are also full of anger; if the parents are fussy, the children are also fussy. This is the start of many alienated life, when a person becomes someone else in her own body (alienated souls). It is also the start of many diseases.

That is why, in the crowd, flat, emotionless, and empty stares are often seen. Similarly on social media, not a few friends complained that they feel empty inside and are unable to feel anything. Some even confessed that they have tried to commit suicide. Before it’s too late, let’s find the seeds of happiness inside, nurture them beautifully, and find a supportive environment that beautifies the soul. As a first step, it’s important to instill an understanding and belief that, no matter how dark a person’s past, there is always a seed of happiness inside. No matter how problematic the parents are, how disastrous the school is, or how full of troubles the environment is, still, humans are nurtured by nature that contains abundant happiness.

Consider food as an example, it is produced by abundant happiness energy. From an earth full of love, sunlight that contains abundant energy, rain full of tenderness, animals that sacrificed their lives, to oxygen as a representative of unconditional and infinite love. Not to mention the beautiful blooming flowers that share an aura of happiness every day, singing birds that proclaim happiness, and jumping dolphins which again tells us that life is a dance of joy. In Kabir’s straightforward but clear words: “I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water died of thirst “. So that the seeds of happiness begin to grow beautifully, learn not to become a thirsty fish in the water.

Harmony in one’s own body

As a concrete step, look at the joyful side of each present moment. There is always a joyful side to be found in even the saddest events. Remind yourself again and again, happiness is not the result of an event. Happiness is the fruit of our perception. It is as simple as finding cow dung sent by your neighbour in front of your house. If your thoughts are negative, it becomes the beginning of a disaster with your neighbour. If you look at it with a positive point of view, cow dung can become the beginning of a friendship with your neighbour. Simply because it is a fertilizer that will bloom into beautiful flowers. All events in life are exactly the same as cow dung. They can be seen negatively, they can also be seen positively. And the seeds of happiness will begin to grow beautifully, if a person persistently does not give up easily to always see everything from the positive sides.

In positive psychology, it has long been recommended to do positive affirmations inside. Leading healer Louise Hay in “You Can Heal Your Life” is one of the figures who really likes this approach. Throughout her life, she has never been tired of encouraging people to affirm to themselves: “All is well”. All has been, is and will be well. In the language of classical psychology according to Sigmund Freud, what has been spoken repeatedly in the conscious mind for years, will also illuminate the darkness of the subconscious mind. This is what is meant by “rewriting your life story”, not written by others, especially parents. It is also from here that the seeds of alienation within begin to be healed. As darkness disappears which gives birth to light, the seeds of alienation inside that diminish make the seeds of happiness begin to grow.

It is good to combine this psychological approach with meditation. Psychology cures the longing of the left brain (logic) which tends to strengthen due to education. Meditation brings friends to see themselves more wholly. Not only by logic but also feeling. Not only through debate but also silence. This is why meditation continues to suggest us to be a witness. To be precise, a witness that is full of harmony. The meditative step is that, when doing sitting meditation or throughout daily activities, always guide the mind softly and gently to feel the gap between the two breaths. At the end of every in-breath and out-breath there is a gap. Simply feel it without any negative-positive. As has been experienced by many friends who have taken this approach, the logic is slightly weakened, feelings grow more beautifully. One starts learning to grow in wholeness.

Watering the seeds of happiness inside

It is from here that the seeds of happiness will grow slowly. For beginners, happiness is a series of pleasant feelings or sensations inside. From eating delicious food to having a good sleep. From feeling happy to feeling balanced. Some beginners are happy because a number of fun things will happen. Like children who will grow independent, or an old age that will be enjoyable. In essence, the pleasure of giving something to yourself. Those are healthy initial signs. As a person becomes more mature in happiness, she starts learning to be happy by giving something to others. It’s as simple as a mother who is happy because she can buy new clothes for her baby, or a grandmother who feels her old age is meaningful because she can take care for her grandchildren.

Persistence combined with sincerity can make happiness one day grow into a feeling of contentment. Not only feeling content for making herself happy, but also feeling content for making others happy. All that remains is a deep sense of peace. As the nature of water is wet, the nature of flowers is beautiful, the nature of the soul that has arrived here is the blooming into a beautiful soul. The sign is a sense of appreciation and respect towards life that grow. Every creation in nature, no matter how small, gives rise to a sense of appreciation and respect. What is meant by appreciation and respect is simple; it’s when a person can see everything perfectly as it is. Birds fly in the air, fish swim in the water, frangipani tree grows in dry soil, lotus grows in wet ponds – everything is perfect in its own place. Strangely, with a person whose appreciation and respect towards life have grown inside, other people will naturally be full of appreciation and respect towards such person.

In the end, the bravest courage that can be done in this era will appear. It’s the courage to be happy with everything one already has. Not to mention eating delicious food, even breathing can create a deep sense of happiness. Borrowing the findings of cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton in “The Biology of Belief”, people who have the courage to be happy are experiencing a honeymoon effect. Their brain produce more dopamine which enables the body to heal itself. The practical step is then, if you have a million rupiah, eat at a restaurant; if you have only one hundred thousand rupiah, eat at a food stall. The most important thing is not where to eat or what to eat, but the courage to be happy with what is eaten. Including the courage to be happy with anyone who is next to you. It is this kind of person who becomes the best healer for herself, while also guiding herself towards an old age full of harmony.

Author: Guruji Gede Prama
Picture: Pinterest

About the author

Gede Prama

Gede Prama started his spiritual journey through a dialogue with his symbolic Guru in a village at the north of Bali. The journey is then being enriched with his experiences of studying abroad, his meetings with the world greatest spiritual Gurus: His Holiness Dalai Lama, The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Professor Karen Armstrong; and also being deepened by his intense meditation practices.

Despite the fact that he was once a CEO of a large corporation with thousand of employees, and was traveling abroad frequently for the purpose of teaching, yet, being deeply moved by the Bali bombing incident in 2002, he then decided to leave everything and went back to his home island.
He has never leave Bali for the past few years. In fact, he rarely leaves the silence of the forest where he lives, except for the purpose of teaching at the sacred sites within Bali.

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