Most of us know someone who has endured a serious hardship – perhaps an illness like breast cancer – yet who has remained grounded in grace and happiness. How can this be?
Recognizing our shared humanity, we learn to open our hearts to others. Happiness occurs as a natural phenomenon when we have the experience of connectedness with all human beings and the whole of nature in its beauty. Happiness occurs in the space of being one with life.
I believe that happiness is neither found within, or without, i.e. neither inside nor outside of ourselves. Happiness occurs when we have left behind us the state of division and separateness that we bring to our experience of life; when we have transcended the duality of existence—which includes the illusion of the “I”—and we recognize that our true nature is found in the awareness of oneness of being and oneness of life.
We have forgotten who we are in the way we live our lives. Making a commitment to being happy, no matter what reminds us of who we really are, since happiness is our innate nature. A commitment to being happy allows you to be true to your true nature, since your true nature is happiness. In a commitment to being happy, you gather yourself inside of being aligned with life. You summon all the elements that bring you in alignment with life, which contributes to a process of healing and transcending those elements that contribute to our hardship.
Reaching Beyond Separateness
What happens when we are confronted with hardship and suffering, such as a serious illness? Might our understanding of happiness guide us in delivering comfort to someone? Thinking along these lines, I came across this article, featured because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S., about how to be helpful when someone you know is diagnosed. The questions raised in this article are very relevant: “What to Say (Or Not to Say) to Someone With Breast Cancer.”
We could also ask ourselves the question, “How to Be (Or Not to Be) with Someone With Breast Cancer?” If you allow for what is occurring in your life, you are no longer judgmental, and dis-ease no longer occurs as that there is something fundamentally wrong with the person. This may sound contradictory, but as a physician, I noticed that if I am in my experience of someone with an illness truly embracing of what is occurring, it changes the way I communicate and relate to that person. There is no longer the experience of separateness, but an experience of being—a true connection of the heart—and another possibility of communicating becomes available. Now, anything can be said, and what is said comes from a different place—a place of oneness of being—which may just shift one little inch of how the person views herself. This may just help start a process of healing. The joy of being has the capacity of healing, and helps us reach beyond separateness.