[Note: I just want to assure readers that this blog is just my brain trying to work out concepts I learn from different sources, including my own head. I’m definitely not trying to lecture anyone about the way things are!]
The sun trigram represents abundance of money and other blessings. It represents the gradual accumulation of wealth with patience and self-control.
More than anything else, abundance is a state of mind.
In the words of Bob’s favorite saying: “Happiness is not having everything you want, it’s wanting everything you have.”
Jon Katz writes of people who are fascinated by telling and hearing “struggle stories.” Dr. Mickle, author of the book “Journey to Mastery: Feng Shui for Life”, writes about people who are stuck in a “life is a struggle” mentality. She writes that if this is a person’s core belief, they will attract drama that keeps them in a constant state of chaos. They may believe deep down that they aren’t worthy of a pleasant, struggle-free life or that a struggle-free life is not worth living. She says that if this is your unconscious belief, you create situations that fulfill your belief, constantly, over and over.
She writes: “When we are engaged in unconscious patterns, hurting ourselves is part of the process.”
This is karma. Karma is a spinning wheel, a system of cause and effect, over one or several lifetimes; it’s not some kind of external reward and punishment system as many think.
I have always said jokingly that I am too simple-minded to worry excessively or think negatively (realistically, according to some). Once, my friend and at that time, co-teacher, annoyed at me but joking, said something about my viewing the world through rose-colored glasses. I returned that I’d rather wear them than her black sunglasses. I tend to be attracted to those who wear metaphoric sunglasses and there’s a lesson in that– but I digress.
The truth is that I have a deep trust in the universe, that things really do happen for a reason and things work out however they’re supposed to. Saying this out loud sounds exquisitely stupid, especially to people who tend to wear those dark glasses, but it is the
truth, and I could change it if I wanted to, but obviously I don’t. Jon Katz also says, “Stand in your truth,” and that sounds right to me, so I will.
There are people who live out of a deep belief that, “Life is a struggle.” Personally, I believe The Band when they say, “Life is a Carnival.” Believe it or not.
There are people everywhere that think life is a struggle, engaged in creating their own struggle, but you can’t tell them that, you sound like world-class insensitive creep. All you can do is give them your compassion, not judge them, and know they are working out their own karma. You can’t walk another’s path for them. Trying to only causes trouble for both you and them.
Many years ago now, I was in a deep depression. I didn’t feel particularly sad, and I was able to function at a level where no one even knew anything was wrong. But inside, I felt a horrible numbness, I didn’t enjoy anything at all. It was pretty terrible and it lasted almost two years, I think. I clearly remember sitting at my computer desk and thinking the words, This sucks. I don’t want to be this way anymore.
And just like flipping a switch, I wasn’t. I made a point to laugh all the time. I was more patient and mindful with my daughter, who I’d tried to be careful not to affect with my depression. I watched Marx Brothers movies (I sometimes think the Marx Brothers saved my life) and I listened to comedy albums. M. Scott Peck says that depression is a stage of outgrowing something that’s no longer serving you and that was clearly the case with me. It was a growing pain.
I believe everyone has the power to change like this, everyone has the power to lighten the load of karma. The tricky thing is that the answers are not the same for everyone. What worked for me might not work for you. It may not be that someone else can flip their attitude like a switch. Maybe it will take years of fighting and a lot of help from a therapist or spiritual advisor for someone to change their core belief.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras claim that yoga practice will work for everyone, but I’m not convinced.
You can’t walk someone else’s path for them. This is hard and frustrating and painful. You can love someone with all your heart, but you can’t walk their path.
One more story:
We’ve gotten a box of produce from a Community Supported Agriculture program for many years now. It’s a big box, and after the initial excitement wore off, I would complain every week loudly and extensively about the burden of storing and using up so much
produce. For a long time I did this.
Then, one day, I was looking at the box and thought suddenly, This is food! Some people don’t have enough and you’re complaining about having too much. You are cursing abundance. I felt really appalled at myself. Things tend to hit me out of the blue like that.
After that, we shared more of the produce with friends and family, but now that our daughter has moved out and Bob works so much in the summer, it really is too much, and we decided to get a smaller box (duh, right?), but I still try not to curse abundance.
Sometimes you just have to change your mind.