Tuesday is Independence Day; a day that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which declared that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and were no longer a part of the British Empire. The document stated, among many other things, that we, the members of this independent nation, have the right to pursue happiness.
As I give this concept some thought, I have realized that sometimes, when you claim your independence from something, you are pursuing happiness! Years and years ago, I was married to a man who forgot to mention in his wedding vows to me that he needed a green card so that he could bring his wife and three children to America. Must have slipped his mind, I guess. His behaviors were abusive and controlling, and try as I might, I could not seem to MAKE him happy. About a year and half into the marriage, I found out about the wife and the children and the secret plan to use me to get his green card. Still, I pursued the delusion of my ability to make him happy or make him love me or whatever for another year. During this time, my spirit began to break as I fell into a darker and darker hole of despair, all the while believing I had something to do with his behaviors toward me. I was wrapped up in my story about failing at a marriage, about not being able to survive without a man, about the inconvenience of all that would need to happen to divorce, and about proving I was lovable by being married. A series of well-placed earth-bound angels spoke to me in various ways to encourage me to claim my independence and take a leap of faith, which I finally did, having spent 3 years in what I lovingly refer to as Hell.
There is always a payoff to whatever we choose to experience. For me in this situation, I got to milk that story, with a great deal more detail, and enjoy the role of victim. It was always easier to blame him (or someone else) for all that was occurring in my life. But being a victim and making others wrong never brought me happiness. It kept me stuck in a cycle of abusive relationships and a life of misery. I was the one keeping myself in bondage. My former husband was a mirror reflecting back to me my own crazy. Today, I consider him my greatest and most sacred teacher. He lovingly agreed to spend a lifetime as a pretty awful person in an effort to teach me, and other worthy students, many powerful lessons that our souls needed.
Happiness is a choice. You choose to be miserable or you choose to be happy. When we take on the role of victim, we give our power away to whomever we perceive as causing our pain. WE cause our pain with our perceptions! When we make loving ourselves our top priority, we learn to take life on life’s terms. We ask “What is this experience here to teach me?” rather than “Why is this happening to me?”
When you are in pain, notice and honor where it hurts in your body, and don’t resist it. Be with the feeling. Notice where you are making someone else wrong, stop and proclaim “I am willing to see this differently!” Then ask yourself, “What was my role in this?” “What did I put out there to attract this?” and “How can I see this experience as a blessing?” Change the way you look at a thing, and the thing literally changes. It is seductive to stay in the victim role. It seems easier. But it will not be in pursuit of anything other than more pain, which is bondage. Free yourself and claim your independence from any thoughts that are not in alignment with loving yourself, and claim your own right to pursue happiness no matter what.
Wishing you lessons, blessings and much happiness.