(Excerpted from Let Go and Live in the Now, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2004: 2600 words)
Just as a storm in the atmosphere of the earth is born of conflicting fronts of different temperatures colliding with one another, so too must there be conflicting forces within us in order to form a mental or emotional storm. Our task is to become conscious of these unseen forces that dwell in the unenlightened parts of us. As we grow to realize that no disturbance can remain within us without our granting it the force it needs to sustain its fury, we realize that we have at our disposal two great powers. We are empowered to dismiss storms when they appear in our psychic system and, with time and practice, we can learn to dismiss these disturbances before they begin!
What are these invisible conflicting forces at work within us that cause so much foul weather? We uncover the first of these unconscious forces by recognizing that the storms in our lives all share a common cause. Each storm, large or small, centers on something that happens to us that we don’t want to be happening for whatever reasons. A few quick examples prove this insight, but best success is assured if you will fill in the blanks from your own experience.
As a cardiologist for over a quarter century, I dealt with life and death circumstances on a daily basis. I came to fully appreciate how precious and tenuous life can be; it can change in an instant. On June 30th of 2009 such a dramatic shift occurred in our family when our son, Tyler, was involved in an automobile accident sustaining a severe spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.
As John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” In a Nano-second, our entire family was thrust into the midst of one of the fiercest storms imaginable.
Why do disruptive, terrible things like this happen? Why must there be such anguish? Does it serve any purpose?” These were questions that had answers . . . but it would take quite some time for me to sift through the quagmire in order to uncover them.
There were three things that helped me navigate the storm:
John tightened his grip on the control bar and said, "Are you still pissed at me for all the shit I did to you when we were kids?" I just mumbled, "Time to find out."
Well, back then, when we were kids, John had been a bully but I did not put that together then. His main mode of operation was baiting and intimidation.
My first memory of his strange sense of brotherly love was when I was 3 or 4 years old. He was 2 years older than me and liked to play house with his playmate friend. I had to play the part of their baby.
OK, so John can complain about my having an overactive imagination but I remember floating in the bowl of water, crushed oleander leaves, which he says was really grass. It was supposed to be my dinner and refusal to fall for that meant that I had to be punished. There was a barn behind our house that had the biggest bench vice that I have ever seen, but then I was only 3 or 4 years old. Anyway, my head went between the jaws and I was not going to knuckle under - - - until I felt the jaws touch both sides of my head.
Author of 101 Relationship Myths – How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness
Just days before the release of the book, my annoying alter ego woke me up in the middle of the night saying …
Oh my God, Tim, what have you done!
I just read one of the first chapters in your new book “101 Relationship Myths – How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness”.
Well, quite frankly, I’m shocked. The title of the chapter is “Stay away from women in their 30s”!
Last month I turned 42. Just like every year of my life, I had been looking forward to my birthday with giddy anticipation. I just LOVE getting older, there's absolutely nothing I don't adore about it.
Invariably, people gave me surprised stares when I replied to the inevitable: “Oh, is it your birthday?” with an excited: “Yes it is, I'm 42 today!” I suppose it's not the usual thing to do, stating one's age as a woman of the so-called “certain” age. People just omit the number altogether or famously “turn 29” over and over again every year.
The Way is in the Unknowing.*
Some of us have the courage to free ourselves from blind, ignorant unquestioning loyalty to long-held identity-entangled beliefs, and, to stare into the vast abyss of uncertainty which consequently unfolds before us. For me the unraveling began with a belief that God wanted to be known, and would allow me to ask any question I wanted, to explore any path I chose, even if it meant questioning his existence in the pursuit of knowing him personally, deeply, intimately. I could struggle and argue with God, in the tradition of Old Testament prophets like Jeremiah. If God were God indeed, he would withstand the assault of my scrutiny. He would never abandon me. I could leap into the Void, not as a test, but as a yearning to know the truth of him, and he would catch me in his arms.
Have you noticed how hard it is to change? Especially at the beginning of a New Year. After all the emotional turbulence of Christmas, happy or not, plus the realisation of last years resolutions not accompanying you thus far.....
We are conditioned by our past, that is the real reason we find it so hard to change! I come with a country background and we knew that once the fox got into the chicken house, he would come back and kill again and again, until he was killed.
Let’s talk for just a minute about people who are doers in they’re lives and those who are don’ters. Or should we say someone who does, and someone who doesn’t. There really is a big difference between the two.
Sometimes just telling someone that they are a doer or that somebody is a don’t er just isn’t enough. Sometimes it’s too hard for someone who is a don’t to try to do. And the funny thing is about those who always do, they really do all the time.
It was a chilly May morning in 2009 and I took several, very deep breaths and let them go—not the breaths—but several pieces of furniture birthed during my previous life of wife for 33 years.
There I stood in the middle of the yard sale, wearing the artfully painted smile of a recovering Stepford Wife, dispassionately watching as uncaring strangers poked, prodded and pack away belongings left over from my painstakingly crafted, failed fantasy marriage. I waved goodbye and wished my old friends, Cuisinart (™), Capodimante (™) and carved rice bed, well as they waltzed away down the driveway with new partners.
To put it simply, our internal world is our mind. And it is in the mind where we succeed or fail, love or hate and win or lose. Every single physical experience ever lived is the manifestation of what the mind of man has conceived. The mind creates reality and this, in today’s world, is generally referred to as the Law of Attraction.
The concept of the Law of Attraction is continually gaining popularity. In other words, the number of people who are becoming self aware and realizing the importance of their mindset is growing by the day. In a nutshell, the Law of Attraction is ‘that which we tune into, we receive’.
My journey of personal growth has led me to several realizations regarding the pursuit of happiness - by which I mean true happiness or inner peace.
First of all, I now know that happiness cannot be found by means of pursuit. Chasing happiness only feeds the chase and the resulting misery from never quite reaching the goal which always eludes us, thus perpetuating our self-imposed misery. Just as we achieve one goal, something else seems to go wrong. There’s always something. Everything is changing. Nothing stays the same. Thus life becomes a roller coaster. Just as we reach the top of one hill, we slide down the other side. Therefore, tying our happiness to the outcome of events is an exercise which, at best, reaps only fleeting moments of joy.