This week, staying open to life, deciding to be happy.
Self-enquiry: Can I decide to be happy, stay open to life, regardless of what happens?
The Path of Unconditional Happiness - chapter 15 in the Untethered Soul stars with ‘The highest spiritual path is life itself. If you know how to live daily life, it all becomes a liberating experience. … first realise that you really only have one choice in this life’ and continues... 'Do you want to be happy or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear. It’s bad enough that your happiness is conditional upon your own behaviour. When you start making it conditional upon other people’s behaviour, you’re in serious trouble. The slightest thing happens to you and you give away your happiness.'
Things are going to happen. The real question is whether you want to be happy regardless of what happens. Letting go of the conditions you place on happiness. 'You can be happy just to be alive.'
Singer also talks about choosing happiness as staying open. Staying open, in your heart and relaxing into life are themes which have recurred throughout the book.
Those of you who know me will know I’m not big on seeking happiness but rather contentment which I find to be a much more sustainable state. So I like that Singer also talks in this chapter, and throughout the book, about staying open.
This focus of staying happy in chapter 15 and more so the staying open to life reminded me of Victor Frankl’s quote 'Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.' Victor Frankl is widely know for surviving the holocaust and writing of his experience in Man’s Search for Meaning. Having read his book and everything he went through and how he was able to survive mentally when others couldn't, this further supports this idea of 'staying open to life' and 'deciding to be happy' that Singer writes of.