By Bill Fox/Columnist
Previously I’ve written a column on each of the first five spiritual principles that are part of the 12 Spiritual Principles of all major world religions. The first five I wrote columns on were about honesty, hope, faith, courage and integrity.
The sixth principle is willingness, which can be defined as “the quality or state of being prepared to do something; readiness.”
So are we willing to look at our path to happiness? Is it money? Social status? Sensual pleasures? Are all these things delivering the real long-term happiness they promise? I once saw a poster which said, “Money won’t buy us happiness” on one side. On the other side it read, “But if you pay us enough, we can rent it!” I think this might be true enough. I recall when The Beatles were in their glory, they had all the money they ever needed to “rent” happiness, but were still searching for something else. It was then that they looked at spirituality.
Might it be time to shed the belief that money is needed for happiness, and be willing to move forward?
What is the most empowering meaning we can give to this pandemic?
We have free will. We have a choice. If we are willing to change we need not surrender and give up to the first attitude that shows up in our mind. Choose the best attitude for the situation. The quality of our life comes down to the quality of our thoughts and attitudes.
I saw this amazing story this week that illustrates a great lesson:
“In the years since a hit-and-run driver left Patricia Anne Peters for dead on a highway north of Whistler, B.C., in the middle of an October night, she has faced plenty of hard choices. Stay angry at a stranger who left her in a wheelchair or try to be positive. Drink and party like she used to, or clean up. Look to the future or stay stuck in the past.
The 39-year-old mother of two celebrated six years of sobriety last week, and to her amazement, she also saw a B.C. Supreme Court judge hold a man responsible for her injuries. Now Peters faces perhaps her toughest challenge yet: finding a way to forgive logging truck driver Glen Bird.”
“I don’t want to hold on to hatred toward him because this is my body, this is my spirit,” said Peters. “I want to be able to just forgive him and let it go and move forward from here because it’s in the past and there’s nothing I can do about it. But I can move forward and try to make my situation the best I can.”
During this pandemic many of us have faced a lot of challenges. If we are willing, we can find that everyday can be productive in its own way.
One of my sons has been making friends with chipmunks at the family cottage. He actually posted one of them wagging its tail like a puppy as he was reaching out to give it a peanut. Would he have experienced this and posted it, had it not been for the pandemic? This pandemic lockdown compels us to spend more time going inwards and outwards.
If you want to be happy, you have to learn how to adjust. You have to adjust your expectations when things don’t go your way. If you don’t, you will have a constant underlying resistance against life. Sometimes things don’t go our way, and although we can’t see it in the moment, later on we realize it was a good thing for many reasons. Learn to accept what you can’t control, and adapt to make the best of it.
Amidst this pandemic, there are a lot of problems, but consider this:
– Problems help us to grow and to learn and can actually make us better.
– When problems show up, we can deal with them better when we ask these three questions:
1.What’s good about this?
2.What can be learned?
3.How can I make it better?
I hope you are willing to try these questions. I’m at Bdfox@rogers.com.