Sunday, September 6, 2009

Do YOU decide to change...

... or do you wait for external factors?

What I like so much about the philosophy of happiness is the empowerment that results from applying the philosophy in our daily lives. We change our attitude from being victims of our lives to designers of our lives. We change from "it's all in God's hands" to "we control what we think in any situation". This means that regardless of what is happening in our lives right now, there is something we can do for ourselves and others. We can use our minds to create a way out of unhappiness and into happiness.

The other day I was driving with some friends in my car and one of them told me about the Readings of Abraham, written by Esther Hicks. (Yes, these days I'm reading, researching and discussing many different philosophies and studies regarding happiness).

My friend is very familiar with the different happiness philosophies and has intensively used it in her life for many years. Lately she has been looking towards other resources to bring more happiness into her life. She told me that what she likes so much about the  Abraham Readings is that Abraham says that you cannot go in an instant from totally unhappy and depressed to happy. (I have not read any of the Abraham Readings, so for this article we will go with her statement on this.)

My friend felt this was empowering for her to hear, because she had tried many times to change in an instant, but it never felt like it worked instantly. There always seemed to be residues and it always took her a while to overcome the challenge. Her evidence lines up with Abraham's words and so she likes this part of the Abraham philosophy a lot. Instead of judging herself for not doing it right by not changing in an instant, she decided to believe that she cannot change in an instant. The empowerment for her is in her not judging herself. She can accept the unhappiness in the now, knowing that getting over the unhappiness will take time.

When I thought about how this would work out in my life, I didn't like it and decided not to buy the belief. Even though the thought seems empowering (hey, not judging yourself is a very big thing for most of us), I still felt like a victim of something outside deciding when the time is right to change. It also seemed a very passive way of dealing with challenges.

I like to believe that we CAN change in an instant, but that we do not HAVE to change in an instant. If we change over time, it is not because we COULD NOT change in an instant, it is because we DIDN'T WANT to change in an instant. Instead of thinking getting over it WILL TAKE TIME, I'd rather believe I WANT TO TAKE TIME.

I am not denying that we do not always change in an instant, but I deeply believe that not changing in that instant has a PURPOSE. It has a REASON. When you believe "ohh well, it just takes time", you put yourself into a passive, not acting mode of waiting until some external alarm clock saying, "It's Time to Move On".

When you say "I WANT to take time", you open yourself up to explore the reasons WHY you want to take time. Looking closely at those reasons, you might decide that you need a certain amount of time to accomplish a certain amount of change (specificity counts in this example, see Mark's blog "If All You have is a Hammer"), and so you take your time HAPPILY! You also might decide that those reasons are no longer valid. In this case you change your mind and decide to change happily on the spot.

For me this is what empowerment is about: it's YOU who has the power to decide in this instant how much longer you want to do a certain thing. And in any instance, you can question your beliefs about the situation (again and again and again), and then change them, if you WANT TO!

Have an empowered sunday everyone!

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