I feel miserable.
My life is not turning out the way I want. Sure I have some good friends, but many of my relationships are quite contentious. My boss is awful. I lose my temper easily. And I’ve made some very bad decisions in my life.
Things often fall to pieces, and I’m easily moved to tears. I’m a better person than most of the people I know – and I feel like I deserve much more than this.
Life really sucks.
Hey, I’m here for the party.
Huh, who are you?
Me? I’m “sadness” silly.
Yeah, you know me. I take all the joy out of your life. I make you feel all gloomy and full of sorrow.
What are you doing here?
Don’t be silly. I’m here because you asked me to come to your party. Here’s my invitation.
You told me to bring my friends too – and here they are: Guilt, Shame, Frustration, Disappointment, Anxiety, and Entitlement.
Of course, you know them very well. They were all at your last party. And all the parties before that.
I have no idea what you are talking about. I’m not hosting a party, and I certainly never invited you here.
That’s what they all say.
[End of Act I]
This may seem like a work of fiction, but the woman hosting this fictitious dinner party is no different than any of us.
Each of us struggles mightily in the world, pointing an accusing finger at all the thieves of our peace: unappreciative friends, awful co-workers, viral/bacterial infections, miserable weather, horrific traffic, bodily aging and the rapid progression of time, lost opportunities, stressful obligations, and so on.
Yet we fail to realize that we do this to ourselves.
We are like the woman above who plans the worst party ever, sends out personalized invitations to all forms of awfulness, and then completely forgets all of that. And when these “special” guests show-up in our life, we bemoan our situation, often asking, “Why me?”
It isn’t until we recognize that we did all the planning and invited all of this into our lives that we can make a different choice.
The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself. (T-27.VIII.10)
In your forgetting [that you chose this] did the thought [of misery] become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. Together, we can laugh them both away, and understand that time cannot intrude upon eternity. (T-27.VIII.6)
Once we comprehend the impact of our choice for misery, then we can make a different choice. One that entails parties abounding with joyful guests and unimaginable joy. Join us in Monday’s class where we will explore these concepts of regrettably choosing misery and learning how to decide differently. I look forward to seeing you then.