Are You Missing the Beam?

automaticdoor[Photo from Leeward Community College Library]

At the end of a report on a longitudinal study on happiness, there was an opportunity for readers to leave comments.

I was drawn to this comment from one of the readers:

In another more distant time, I was quite depressed, and found that walking up a corridor the automatic door would not open for me, although it would for anyone else walking up the same corridor … This happened over some weeks and did little for my self-esteem. It was only later that I realized that I was walking along the edge of the corridor, and the others were walking confidently in the center and that I was missing the beam.

This comment struck me as one of the reasons we miss the good that is available for us in life. Staying along the fringes for whatever reason can certainly cause us to miss the sources so readily available if we were in line with them.

If we are already suffering from low self-esteem or depression, it doesn’t take much to confirm what we already believe to be true. A self-fulfilling prophecy sets in motion.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in position to receive good so we don’t miss the beam?

Here are three things that have helped me navigate through life without missing the beam:

1. Do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

This Golden Rule is so universal that various versions of it are found in over 21 religions. Here are a few.

Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.” Talmud, Shabbat 31a.

Sufism:The basis of Sufism is consideration of the hearts and feelings of others. If you haven’t the will to gladden someone’s heart, then at least beware lest you hurt someone’s heart, for on our path, no sin exists but this.” Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.

Yoruba: (Nigeria): “One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.”

Native American Spirituality: “Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.” Pima proverb.

None of these sayings suggest you be a doormat or let others use you. But extending kindness or refusing to knowingly hurt another, has a greater effect on you than it does on others.

2. Give what you want to receive.

I recently shared with my sister that I had received a card from one of our childhood friends.

She quickly shot back at me “I never hear from any of those people.”

To which I asked, “How many times have you written to them?”

She hadn’t kept in touch with our childhood friends over the years, and yet she wondered why she hadn’t received the very thing she hadn’t given.

Are you guilty of wanting to receive what you’re not willing to give?

This is not a new idea.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38 NIV)

3. Act as if

“If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.” Willam James

This is a tough one for me, but it has worked for me more than once, not just in terms of qualities, but things as well.

Many years ago when I wanted to end a 37 mile commute and move closer to my job, I spent every weekend combing the classifieds and traveling to model homes in new developments and older homes in established neighborhoods. My plan was to find the home I wanted and then begin plans to sell my then current home.

One Sunday evening when I returned from house-searching, a heard a very clear voice say, “You don’t really want to move!”

It startled me since we were still unloading the car, and it was clearly not my kids’ voices.

“What are you talking about?” I thought back to the voice in protest. “I do want to move!”

No, if you really wanted to move, you’d sell your house first.”

I don’t which was more shocking–a voice speaking to me, or the thought of selling my house before I even had the next house in sight.

But I was convinced that this was a clue that I had to act as if the house I wanted was already mine. So, I proceeded to put my house up for sale. It was a scary move, but I was convinced that it was the thing to do.

From the moment the For Sale sign went up on my home, a serious of events began to unfold. The most miraculous was a friend calling to offer to sell me a house she had inherited that was within 10 miles of my job. The remaining events unfolded like the script in a well-written play. Within 7 months my house was sold, my new home was out of escrow and I was moving into my new home two weeks before my teaching job resumed.

If these three ways of getting in line with your good don’t resonate with you, think instead of your cell phone, digital TV or wireless internet service. No matter how great your equipment, surely you agree that it must be in an area where signals are present, and you must be aligned to receive those signals.

The concept of wireless service does not mean no connections are required. You still must have equipment that at some level is wired into a source.

We, as humans, must be in align with a source as well. It doesn’t matter whether you call your source God, Jehovah, higher being, Mother Nature, science, private intuition, the goodness of mankind or Verizon.

Acknowledging your source and aligning yourself with it is what enables you to successfully connect with your good.

If you have been missing the beam, try these three tips and you will confidently embrace your happiness.