Yesterday we looked at why what we resist persists. In that post we looked at how resisting sadness causes that sadness to persist. Today we look at another reason we choose to be sad – because we think we are supposed to be sad.
Many times we allow our feelings to be triggered by external situations. Things happen that we have defined as triggers for sadness, or happiness, or anger, or violence. Once we perceive the triggering event we immediately jump into the corresponding behavior.
We give it no thought. If someone close to us dies we become inconsolable. When we get a big raise at work we become irrationally ecstatic. When someone acts inappropriately with our significant other we become angry and violent. A great deal of our behavior is made up of these triggering events and responses.
When we react to these triggering events we are clearly not in the moment. We are acting from our preprogrammed false self behavior. In each case mentioned above this behavior is causing some situation to persist.
Aren’t I supposed to feel sad?
When I am asked this question my response is “yes – but.” Yes – it is OK to feel sad. We suffer a loss and there is a certain sadness. The difference is in how deep into the sadness we go. Are we able to remain in enough control that we do not become inconsolable? Can we turn off the sadness and return to our daily life?
The problem comes when we are unable to control ourselves. We may have a trigger tells us that we must become devastated when someone near us dies. This keeps us from being able to see that the person who died is moving on to a new experience and other lifetimes. Our devastation is a choice that we have allowed ourselves to make based on an external situation.
Continue to observe
The way in which we begin to understand these external situations that trigger us is to observe them. We watch our behavior. When we see that we are sad, angry, jealous, or any similar feeling – we ask ourselves where the feeling came from. We look to see if an external event triggered one of our preprogrammed responses.
As we learn to recognize these triggers we begin to see the situations as they happen. Gradually we train ourselves to avoid being driven by external events. We learn to choose how we want to respond to situations – not mindlessly follow our programming.
A word about happiness
There is nothing wrong with being happy. After all – that is the point of all this. The gotcha is that we should not need external situations to decide if we are happy. As we grow in our spirituality we learn to be happy regardless of what is going on around us. We are happy simply because we choose to be happy.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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