Once upon a time a bitter lady in her fifties lived in the heart of the vibrant city of Rome. Even in midsummer, she hardly went out on the streets, avoiding people whenever possible, and often spent her days in front of the television, getting upset about humanity when she saw the news.
When she went out to the market one Monday morning to replenish her food supply, a man of her age nudged her from the side and asked if she would like to drink an espresso with him.
The lady shook her head in horror and tried to concentrate on her vegetable selection again. Then the kind man said:
I am your neighbor. I’ve been watching you for three years. I think I can help you see what you haven’t discovered yet. I think you miss something very important and I cannot hold back at least to offer it to you. See, our time here is limited, we have to make the best use of the time.
The middle-aged woman reluctantly squinted at the man again then she answered :
What does that mean? For what? Do you think you can make the world a better place? Take a look around — terrible things happen every day, the climate change and insidious fraudsters. I don’t think I’m missing anything here.
The man laughed into his medium-length beard.
Yes, I’ve noticed your attitude the past three years. You treat people like enemies, have given up seeing anything likeable in beings. Instead of being loving and vulnerable, you have closed yourself out of fear. And that’s one way. But it is not the way in which you take responsibility, it is the way in which you avoid. And what is a whole life worth when you’re avoiding it? Why are you here then?
Aha and you think that the world is just a happy place and all people are loving and good?
I think that if we are anchored in our center ourselves, we can master most problems with other people well. There is a much greater danger that we are exposed to. And that’s our own mind. We are defenseless if we don’t see what it can do to us. It can produce the greatest poison for our body if we are not aware of it.
Now the embittered lady seemed a little more curious:
Well, if only my mind is my real enemy, then tell me how I can best get along with it for a lifetime.
It is not an enemy. We create circumstances that make it our enemy. When life doesn’t work the way we expect it to be or we feel down, questioning what the hell we are doing on this planet , why everything feels so heavy, we mostly distract ourselves. We meet people, we scroll through our phones or, as you often do, watch TV — never before did we have so many opportunities to get distracted. And it is understandable — because misery is exhausting, we can’t bear it sometimes that’s why we distract ourself — but that’s just curing the symptoms not the root.
Besides, you can’t get rid of your negative thoughts anyway by thinking— as you can’t control your thoughts.
Wow. That sounds amazing. Our mind is creating misery but we cannot change our thoughts because we do not control them. So there is no solution here.
Now the very friendly man looked seriously into the eyes of the lady:
What I am saying is very important. Each of us, I am firmly convinced, wants to leave something positive in the deepest of the heart. Many give up because they think they can’t achieve anything anyway. But there is one thing everyone can do. A responsibility that must be taken to leave the world as a better one: To move as a joyfully through life as possible. But for that you have to find this joy in yourself.
How should you ever make someone happy when you can’t even make yourself happy? If you want to serve people wholeheartedly, you must first be able to serve yourself lovingly. Raising a warm, open, blockage-free child in a loveless parental home is almost impossible. So why do you think that your thoughts can be good, free and positive if you treat yourself badly?
If you want to give the world something good, if you want to find joy in yourself, you have to stop torturing your organism and take care of yourself as if you were someone you loved with all your heart.
The lady looked cautiously at the man, who was bubbling with energy.
So this is the answer? I can’t control my thoughts but I create an advantageous environment to facilitate positive thoughts?
You listened very well! You have to align your life, your habits, your actions, your food, your surrounding — creating the best prerequisits for being joyful. You provide yourself with a good rest every night, with fresh and good food, with movement in order to feel this great and intelligent body that is working so hard for you every day. You keep yourself from things which have no value — like your habit of watching tv and getting upset (you better work on your good habits in order to become joyful — this does help much more as than your lonely rumble). Also you also have to observe yourself, become aware of your own counterproductive reactions, only in this way can you train alternative reactions.That sounds like there are a lot of regulations. But as I said, our thoughts are not always of benefit to what influences us well in the long term. And you will be able to clearly feel the added value very soon. Sometimes we have to be disciplined when the peace for ourselves and others is our biggest goal.
And of course another thing — if we love someone with all our hearts we are forgiving. So don’t be too strict, be proud of every step you take towards your joyful state — because that’s what the world needs most.