Sympathy for the Devil

When I was a kid, my parents focused on teaching me to be a good child, not a bad one. They instilled a value system upon which I measured myself moment- to- moment, day to day, year to year. Sometimes I fought their evaluations because I disagreed but more often than not, I capitulated. Why? I wanted them to love me, so I compartmentalized my concept of self to meet their expectations of a good girl.  
I was not successful eliminating the bad qualities or what was construed as bad; by the time I was 5 years old, I had already developed a highly sophisticated early warning system that both applauded and punished my thoughts and actions, simultaneously. I also relied on this system to judge others.
All of us use some variety of this very ancient model. The system wears us out; and does not itself ever wear out. 
Why do  we seek to change? We believe we can be happy. We're tired of the endless internal loop machine deciding what constitutes good or bad. We've tried changing the conditions of our lives. We've also tried changing others. But happiness still eludes us. Most of us give up the fight way too early in the game. The methods used do not bring us the long term happiness we seek. What to do? 
Nobel Prize winner and Olympic gold medalist, George Leonard said the keys to mastery require, "Practice, good teachers, holding a vision, playing the edge, and surrendering to your passion."
What higher vision to hold for yourself than the desire to be happy and to help others become happy, too! If you're passionate about changing your life to finally be happy, you can! It starts by changing from the inside out. Where there is a will, there's a way!
Find a teacher(s). Don't give up. Get happy.

Posted on July 16, 2013 and filed under July 2013.