Suspicious Minds

"One should not lick it before it drops," is an old and very popular saying in my country. "The one who has found happiness should keep it to herself," is another one.

Life is a scary situation, you see. Happiness and good fortune are so rare in this miserable world that if luck should strike, one should firstly take it as an exception to the rule that nothing good ever happens and secondly, if good does happen, be quiet about it.

Not only is being happy for something in advance considered as a sure way to prevent it from happening, being happy for something that you already have is considered a sure way to ruin it.

Superstition is a particularly persistent form of folklore.

Even though jinxing has no real power, it does have the power of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you name it, you claim it. You get what you ask, in goodness and badness.

Not being able to fully enjoy happiness in the fear of losing it, is, of course, universal. Universal is also the habit of putting faith into lucky charms. While the effect of rabbit feet or various amulets as such will probably never pass scientific testing in any satisfactory way, it is common knowledge that lucky charms work. They work because people believe they work.

It all comes down to what we believe in. I was raised to believe that hardship is the default mode of life and it has taken a lifetime to get rid of that detrimental and limiting belief.

I remember when I first went to see my psychic. I was beyond terrified. What if she sees death in my cards? What if sees illness? What if she sees a disaster?

If I am to die tomorrow, I don't want to know it, I thought.

I almost cancelled my appointment but boy am I glad I didn't because, as it turned out, instead of bad things, she saw lots of love and money and happiness in my cards. I could see all those red hearts with my own eyes. For about a nano-second I felt relieved but then my Thinking Mind, also known as Ego, took things under control and started scanning the situation with reason. Hah! She is a fake, I was told by myself. You little fool -- did you really think you could have a good life?

I still don't know what I make of the Law of Attraction and whether I really believe that everything in the Universe is made of thinking stuff that we have the power to shape whichever way we choose with our thoughts alone, as Wallace Wattles wrote in his The Science of Getting Rich, the book behind the Secret. But I do know that our tendency to focus on the dark side of life keeps us there. We did, after all, get off to a bad start when Adam and Eve got expelled from Paradise and since then it has been a struggle for our sorry race.

But it does not have to be a struggle. There is a way out of hardship. Stop thinking and end your problems, said the Chinese sage Lao Tzu and even though it is a well known fact that a Homo Sapiens can only stop thinking when she dies, we can change our thoughts, any time and anywhere, no matter what happens to us.

Just the other day one of my clients, who is also my friend, sent me a text saying that she had had problems with a purchase in my online store. My spirits sank immediately. From this minor hiccup of an experience, a story started to evolve. Very soon a full blown doomsday scenario entered my mind. Nothing ever works. My business is a disaster. I am a looser. I will die poor. No one loves me.

And so forth.

Thanks to my rigorous meditation practice I am able to catch myself when this sort of negative chain thinking occurs. I can nip it right in the bud. I can remind myself of the fact that a thought is just a thought and if I don't like it, I can replace it with a nicer thought. I don't have to get carried away by circumstances and this is a very good thing because I can seldom change my circumstances. I can only change my thoughts about them.

The nicer the thoughts, the better the life. You might not get everything you want, at least not all at once, but waiting for something good feels so much better than anticipating a disaster.

So please, do lick it before it drops and do count your chickens before they hatch. Also, by all means, share your good fortune with others.

Because, as His Holiness Dalai Lama says:

"If I am only happy for myself, many fewer chances for happiness. If I am happy when good things happen to other people, billions more chances to be happy!"

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

11 Easy Ways To Shorten Your Life