Although I had some inkling already, perhaps only on an instinctual level, that life was supposed to be fun, it was through sharing this house with Ann for a while, that that concept became even more clearly crystallised in my mind. She exposed me to more writers and thinkers in that synchronous way life has of doing these things, that deepened my understanding even more.
But I often forget what I have learned, and am chagrined to admit that I have to re-learn it again and again.
Years ago I read this quote from Marianne Williamson, from her A Return to Love, Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3 (Pg. 190-191). It is often mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela, who used the quote in his inaugural speech, 1994, especially the last sentence of that quote, “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
(For reference, here are links to two official African government sites with Nelson Mandela's 1994 Inauguration Speech:
Mandela: Inauguration Address - Cape Town, 09 May 1994, via South Africa Government Online Official Web site.
Statement Of The President Of The African National Congress Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela At His Inauguration As President Of The Democratic Republic Of South Africa Union Buildings - Pretoria, 10 May 1994, via ANC's (African National Congress) Official Web site.)
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens
us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does
not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children
do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not
just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated
from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
It sometimes shocks me how often I hear lots about the unhappiness of the people I meet. Listen to the talk around you at work, for example. How much negativity do you hear? What is the general tone? Is everybody complaining, angry, blaming? At the store, on your errands, how often do you encounter people who are having fun with what they do, who are filled with enthusiasm, happily absorbed in their work? And notice that if you suggest that life should be fun, you probably really, really piss them off. "Life is hard...and then you die", is an old aphorism my ex often quoted.
However, I believe that when we spend our energy focusing on what is "wrong" with our lives, more of that has a way of showing up. What? But I don't want it! But it's true, isn't it, that you know people who spend so much time focusing on the bad stuff that keeps showing up, again and again, that even if something good happened to them, their response would be," yeah, BUT..."? They hardly notice the good stuff. And well, it just makes sense to me that if we live in a responsive universe where our energy can affect our environment, that energetic vibration of the hoped-for good stuff is hardly going to grow stronger. That constant vibration of a song "in a minor key", as my Dad often said, can only find a corresponding vibration of negativity in the universe.
So, I'm busy making a list of fun things that ignite my passion, playing with the ideas that sound like FUN! I asked my friend Irene recently what might be on her list. She said that since #1 on her list would have been to sleep with Elvis and since that's not possible, #1 is to hold a baby gorilla. I could so picture that, the thrill that would be, that I have borrowed that and added it to my own list.
By the way, Irene inspires people to find and give her all sorts of Elvis memorabilia because people love to help other people achieve their passions. Isn't that interesting?
Irene did go Memphis and visited Graceland, a couple of years ago. Not able to sleep with Elvis, as she has dreamt of, she did the next best thing and stepping over the barrier-rope during her tour of Elvis' mansion, she sat her butt on the edge of his bed. That promptly set off security alarms, of course. And Irene delights us all with her unrepentant exultation in that experience.
By being a little more brave, admitting to the things that I dream to be or do, "brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous", some of the things that my conditioned mind is all too ready to slap down as rather too grand, I hope to line up better with the positive energies of the universe.
What might be on your list?