On a certain occasion, during an elegant welcoming reception for the new Director of Marketing of an important London company, some of the wives of the other directors, who wanted to get acquainted with the spouse of the Director, asked her with some hesitation:
“Does your spouse make you happy, truly happy?”
The husband, who at the moment was not at her side, but was sufficiently near to hear the question, paid attention to hear the conversation, sitting up slightly, feeling secure, even filling his chest slightly with pride, knowingly that his spouse would answer affirmatively, since she had always been there for him during their marriage.
Nevertheless, to both his and others’ surprise, she replied simply, “No he doesn’t make me happy.”
The room became uncomfortably silent, as if everyone was listening to the spouse’s response. The husband was petrified. He couldn’t believe what his wife was saying, especially at such an important occasion for him.
To the amazement of her husband and of everyone, she simply placed enigmatically on her head an elegant black silk scarf and continued:
“No he doesn’t make me happy… I Am Happy.
“The fact that I am happy or not, doesn’t depend on him, but on me.
“I am the only person upon which my happiness depends. I make the choice to be happy in each situation and in each moment of my life. If my happiness were to depend on other people, on other things or circumstances on the face of this earth, I would be in serious trouble! Any kind of dependency is a cause for bondage and any kind of bondage is a cause for misery.
“Everything that exists in this life changes continuously: place, time, weather, objects, people, relationship, wealth, pleasures, my body, sense organs, mind, intellect, etc. I could enumerate an infinite list. They are all momentary, impermanent. I can’t depend on these ephemeral entities to be always happy.
“Over my life I have learned a couple of things. I decided to be happy and the rest is a matter of “experiences or circumstances”, like helping and understanding, accepting, listening, consoling and with my spouse, I have lived and practised this many times.
“Happiness will always be found in forgiveness and in loving yourself and others.
“…It’s not the responsibility of my spouse to make me happy. He also has his “experiences and circumstances”.
“I love him and he loves me, often inspite of his circumstances and mine.
“He changes, I change, the environment changes, everything changes. Having forgiveness and true love and observing these changes, that can be big or small, but always happen, we must face them with the love that exists in each one of us. If the two of us love and forgive each other, the changes will only be “experiences and circumstances” that enrich us and give us strength. Otherwise we would be only “living together”.
“For some divorce is the only solution (…in reality it is the easiest…).
To truly love is difficult. It is to forgive unconditionally, to live, to take the “experiences and circumstances” as they are, facing them together and being happy with conviction.
There are those who say:
“I cannot be happy because I am sick, because I have no money, because it’s too cold, because they insulted me, because someone stopped loving me, because someone didn’t appreciate me!”
This kind of thinking is due to the ignorance of our own Real Self and its essential nature being that of Absolute, Infinite, Eternal Bliss, independent of all external factors, whether they are conducive or non-conducive to us.
With the realization of our real Self, we can be happy even though we may be sick, whether it is too hot or too cold, whether we have money or not, whether someone has insulted us or someone didn’t love us or someone hasn’t valued us because all these are temporary, impermanent or ephemeral factors.
Being happy is an attitude about life and each one of us must decide!