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When Life Throws us the Two of Lemons...

As a Tarot card reader, I get a lot of people asking me when they are going to be happy. My first response to them is always that they have to choose to be happy if they truly want to experience joy. We are all presented with challenges in our lives. It is how we face those situations, not what actually happens, that determines our level of happiness. 
 
Have you ever noticed that the people who are the happiest are the ones that complain the least? That's not a magical formula. Those people have simply decided that they are going to focus on what is going right, and spread that positive energy, rather than focusing on what is going wrong, and complaining about it. Very often we don't have a problem, we just need to see things from a different angle. We need to find another plan. 
 
Many of history's great discoveries happened purely by chance. The chocolate chip would never have been invented had Ruth Graves understood the melting behavior of chocolate! It all comes down to working with the current reality, rather than what we wanted to occur. 
 
I was always told that if you can conceive it, and believe it, then you can achieve it. I've contemplated that a lot through the years. To me, this phrase is a good start, yes, but I've found that it is the point where believing turns into knowing that is the catalyst for true change. We draw to us what we believe to be right, but we become what we know to be right.
 
The inner work happens when we start training ourselves to know things. Altering our perceptions about the way we approach our lives puts us more in harmony with the unfolding world around us. Some might call this 'going with the flow.' It's simply physics: like energy attracts like energy. 
 
The quote that I use to demonstrate this is, "Don't cry because it ended, smile because it happened." We can spend our lives complaining about our circumstances or we can focus on the good things that have happened to us and that are happening to us, and rejoice in them. Every coin has two sides. The key to true joy is always look for the happy side. We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. The bush is the same in both instances, you see?
 
Science takes this a step further, too. When we make a habit of looking for the positive side of all situations, the neuroreceptors in our brains start changing the way that they feed us information. We actually start to see the good more often than the alternative, and the world becomes a more joyful place.
 
Is it easy? Not at first, no, but then, what great thing worth having ever is? We can apply this change of outlook to anything. Sprained your wrist? Be grateful that you didn't break your arm. Diagnosed with IBS? Be grateful it wasn't something more serious.  It gets harder when the situations lie closer to your heart, but it is possible. Did you have to have your beloved cat put down because of a terminal condition? Think how lucky you were to have had all those years with such a wonderful companion. There's always a kernel of joy in any situation, I promise. We just have to train ourselves to look for it. 
 
The road of appreciation is our key to manifesting an abundant life. When we focus on what we are missing, that is what creates longing and a sense of scarcity. When we count our blessings, things start to take on a new energy, and a more positive one. It puts a whole new slant on the saying, "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade," doesn't it?
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Charlie Rainbow Wolf is happiest when she is creating something, especially if it can be made from items that others have cast aside. Pottery, writing, knitting, and Tarot are her deepest interests, but she happily confesses that she’s easily distracted, because life offers so many wonderful things to explore. Charlie has been reading the Tarot professionally for over two decades, and can't imagine life without it. She is an advocate of organic gardening and cooking, and lives in the Midwest with her husband and special-needs Great Danes.

Comments

  • Maria Corey
    Maria Corey Wednesday, 03 July 2013

    I agree with you about the practice of gratitude. It doesn't change your life so much as it changes your experience of it -- and that's what we really want: to experience our lives in a happy way. You naturally start looking for what's working in your life and are more willing to change what isn't. But you still need to be aware of what isn't.

    I think trying to get someone to see "the bright side" of a bad situation can be insensitive at best and harmful at worst. And I think we often do it because we aren't comfortable with another's pain. If we can put aside our own fears and discomfort and sit with someone else's pain, they actually get through it faster. No, a broken wrist isn't going to heal any more quickly, but the spirit of the person will. If we let them feel how they feel without judgment, they will come to the realization that there are things to be happy about even within difficult circumstances. They don't need us to do it for them or push it on them. Not only that, but expecting or demanding expressions of happiness from someone who isn't ready for them borders on cruelty.

    I know what I'm saying flies in the face of the "brighten the corner where you are" genre of Paganism and the New Age. But I've been on both sides of the situation, and I can tell you from hard-won experience that the happiness that comes from going through a situation instead of "getting over it" is deeper and longer lasting than any that can be gained through affirmations and platitudes.

  • Charlie Rainbow Wolf
    Charlie Rainbow Wolf Wednesday, 03 July 2013

    If you knew me, you would know that I do not believe in getting 'over' something, I believe in getting through it, learning from the experience, and growing. Thank you for reading my article, and taking the time to comment.

    Love,
    Charlie

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