Happiness: Candles in the Wind and Elsewhere

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          Those of us who consciously opt for happiness bring light to the world in two ways, with two candles, so to speak. The source of one of these candles is within you; it always has been and always will be within you. It is not something you earn; it is something that you already have. In a manner of speaking, it is original equipment. If you are going to be happy, joyful, mirthful, content, and contributing to a better world, you must find your inner candle and understand the power it gives you.

          The other candle is external. Figuratively, we hold it in our hands to help us make our way through life. We can follow its light, and others can see its light, too. It is very helpful. But as much as we try to protect it, it is vulnerable to being snuffed out by the tides and storms of life’s “weather”, by accidents, and by assaults from others. When that candle is extinguished, and it will be from time to time, because that’s how life is, you can lose your way. You might lose your happiness, your joy, and your laughter. Your world will seem very dark. If don’t re-kindle it, you can think that you have lost your “self”. But you have not.

The vulnerability of that external candle is exactly why you should never tell your life’s purpose to anyone other than some very special people who love you so dearly that they would never, ever hurt you.  It is why you should be very careful to whom you tell your dearest dreams.
As soon as you announce your life’s purpose or something that you dream of achieving, unless you are extraordinarily selective, the Pareto Principle will kick right in. Known as the 80/20 rule, it means that 80% of the people to whom you tell your dreams and heart’s desires will react with negativity. They will tell you that it is impossible, that you might as well give up now because you could never accomplish something that important, that good, that valuable.

            They are wrong of course, but they just snuffed out your candle. You need to know how to re-light it so you can see the path a few feet ahead and keep moving forward. Martin Luther King taught us that we do not have to see the end of the staircase, or know precisely where the final destination will be. We need only to see the next few steps and keep climbing, and our mission will be accomplished.

When that external candle gets snuffed out, we can re-light it. And, how do you re-light your external candle? You light it from your internal candle, of course.
          The second candle with which you light the world is internal, perfect and permanent. Nobody can snuff it out. No judge can order it taken from you. It is and always will be yours, but you have to know that it is there and how it works.

          It glows in your heart. It comes from your fundamental goodness and your essence, from the permanent essential traits and abilities that are yours forever.  It comes from your willingness to take the risks of being kind, being forgiving, looking for the good in others, being flexible, being grateful, and allowing yourself guilt-free pleasures in life. It may seem odd, but it also is easier to find and understand when you open yourself up to true mirthful laughter and humor. You don’t have be become a comedian or “be” funny. You do have to let yourself “see” funny.

         And, as it happens, it is much easier to find if you are willing to believe that you deserve happiness. Although that inner candle is always there in all of us, those who do not believe they deserve happiness, or who aren’t willing to master the attitudes that bring happiness, have a much harder time finding their inner candle.

           But, this candle is invulnerable and invincible! It can never be snuffed out. It can never be taken away from you. What a phenomenal asset!

            Once you realize that it is there, and it is inside of you, you will always be able to find it. It is your own personal eternal flame with which you light the way to a better world. It is the source of your resilience, the energy that enables the Phoenix to rise from the ashes. When all seems lost, when the day is darkest for you, your internal heart-light is always there. Eventually, and if necessary, you will find it again and again and again, and then you will re-build, recover, and have the renewed spirit to carry on to your happiness.

          Find the source of those candles by keeping your heart open and laughing generously. These are your lights to the world. Watch how you shine for yourself and others.

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About the Author

Steve Wilson

Award-winning psychologist, Steve Wilson, also known as The Joyologist and The Cheerman of the Bored, has spent 30 years specializing in applied and therapeutic humor with a humanitarian mission. As Director of National Humor Month, he intertwines science and ancient wisdom with substance and humor to create practical methods to lead the world to health, happiness and peace through laughter. More than six thousand people have completed his unique training in how to create therapeutic laughter, and tens of thousands more around the world have been uplifted by his talks, classes, books, and articles. He established the World Laughter Tour, Inc., in 1998, to be a rich resource and inspiration for improving productivity, health, and well being in business, healthcare and education. For more information https://www.worldlaughtertour.com and http://www.humormonth.com.