It can be so easy to lose sight of the wonder that we are surrounded by each day, the divine mystery as I call it, when we are also surrounded by piles of paper, bills, to-do lists and frustrating situations. I find myself sometimes overlooking the incredible gifts that have been given to me, and I so often see my clients doing the same thing. In fact, many will give me variations of this sentence: I have a great partner, relatively speaking we’re comfortable and our lives our easy. I don’t know why I feel so sad/lonely/anxious/frightened.
Somewhere in our human brains it seems we are hardwired to love misery, or at least to be so habituated to it that we seek it out as a familiar place. There are so many ways to counteract that tendency, but it requires active participation on your part. You have to notice when you don’t feel good and actually find the things that bring you joy, solace, peace, wonder and gratitude. One of those things, for me, is the reminder about just how amazing and awe-inspiring the gifts we have been given truly are – how generous the divine mystery really is. I stumbled across this quote from Rob Brezsny’s book Pronoia: the Antidote for Paranoia. Something about it genuinely resonates with me – helps me to see how much I have truly received in my life – I hope it does the same for you.
Love, from the Divine Mystery (via Rob Breszny)
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN LOVED?
Have you ever been loved? I bet you have been loved so much and so
deeply that you have become nonchalant about the enormity of the grace
So let me remind you: To be loved is a privilege and prize equivalent to
being born. If you’re smart, you pause regularly to bask in the astonishing
knowledge that there are many people out there who care for you and
want you to thrive and hold you in their thoughts with fondness.
Animals, too: You have been the recipient of their boundless affection.
The spirits of allies who’ve left this world continue to send their tender
regards, as well.
Do you “believe” in angels and other divine beings? Whether or not you
do, I can assure you that there are hordes of them beaming their uncanny
consecrations your way. You are awash in torrents of love.
As tremendous a gift it is to get love, giving love is an equal boon. Many
scientific studies demonstrate that whenever you bestow blessings on
other people, you bless yourself. Expressing practical compassion not only
strengthens your immune system and bolsters your health, but also
promotes self-esteem, enhances longevity, and stimulates tranquility and
As the scientists say, we humans are hardwired to benefit from altruism.
What’s your position on making love? Do you regard it as one of the nicer
fringe benefits of being alive? Or are you more inclined to see it as a
central proof of the primal magnanimity of the universe? I’m more aligned
with the latter view.
Imagine yourself in the fluidic blaze of that intimate spectacle right now.
Savor the fantasy of entwining bodies and hearts and minds with an
appealing partner who has the power to enchant you. What better way do
you know of to dwell in sacred space while immersed in your body’s
delight? To commune with the Divine Wow while having fun? To tap into
your own deeper knowing while at the same time gazing into the
mysterious light of a fellow creature?
Happiness (and gratitude – remember how linked those two things are?) is an active process – you can tap back into those feelings on purpose. You have the power, at any moment to choose to dive into the divine mystery; into wonder and out of boredom, fear, anxiety or sadness. The hardest part is remembering that you have a choice. That can be one of the hardest things in the world when you feel like you’re at the bottom of a well, trapped in the darkness all alone. This is where your own toolbox of helpful things comes in – your joy list, and your techniques that help you to get outside of your head for a little bit. So let’s add a new technique to that list:
ThIngs I Received Without Having to Be Worth It:
I know that sounds a little odd, but stop to think about it for a second. I feel like when we’re overlooking the wonder in our lives we forget how much the universe actually doles out to us without any effort on our part. We feel like nobody cares or it’s all so hard or that we don’t have enough. It’s time to change that. Every night before bed, or every time you feel your mood starting to nose-dive, write down at least three things that you have received from the universe today that were truly precious that have nothing to do with you earning them. Three random gifts from the divine mystery.
Can’t think of any? Try these examples: Sunshine on your face – the sun shines on you whether you’ve done anything to earn it or not. It’s like a gift. Smiles from strangers, boundless love from your animals, dogs you meet on the street, birds singing in the trees. Moon light, the yellow happiness of dandelions, edible weeds growing on your lawn, the smell of coffee, the sound of rain, air in your lungs. You have a heart that beats without you having to think about it. Your body goes through the mysterious process of sleep. You can dream and imagine and create. Your brain can perceive or create colors. Your body grew, on it’s own without any direction from you, out of a sperm and egg. If that isn’t evidence of the miraculous I don’t know what is. The divine mystery is generous with you constantly. It’s your job to remember.