Many times I see people who are stressed out, unhappy, overwhelmed, angry and afraid. And these are the “spiritual” people. I have to ask myself “What isn’t working?” Then I see people who are happy, self-aware, and enjoying their life. I have to ask myself, “What is working?” The interesting thing is, from outward appearances, there is no rhyme or reason really as to who is happy and who isn’t. Lack of money is blamed for many ills; however, I have met a number of people who have no money and are full of life and love without stress. So money obviously is not the key. I meet people who blame the people they love for their woes; however, I have met people who are not in relationship who are happy and content. So whether you are in a relationship or not is not the key.
The one common denominator that is shared by all of the happy people and lacking in the unhappy people is a sense of self, the acceptance of who they are. The happy ones do not want to be different; they do not want their life to be different. They are enjoying what they have and don’t care about what they don’t have. They understand that they are constantly growing and changing. They are doing the best they can and that is good enough. They do not look for validation outside of themselves and do not care what anybody else thinks about them.
A hero can be defined as someone who does what is best for the common good no matter the risk, danger or cost. The definition of “common good” gets to be a little tricky because it is so subjective. Morals, ethics, politics and judgment will always make “common good” a shifting ideal. I believe that the common good is anything that helps us to evolve to be divinely inspired beings who put others before us. It takes quite a bit of courage to stand up to a gossip, or your friends when you believe them to be acting against the common good. It takes more courage to be who we think we are, regardless of what public opinion might think about it.
One of the biggest challenges I see with people today is that they are unwilling or afraid to stand up for what they think is best for themselves and others. It could be that they are afraid of losing friends or employment; there is always something that is blocking their willingness to think of others before themselves. In a metaphysical sense, they have bought into the concept that they are separate from everyone and everything else and they can do whatever they want without consequences. However the consequences are inevitable and usually take the form of misery and suffering.
Most of us have some concept of what a hero is. What we don’t have a handle on is what our story is. Even worse, we let people tell us what our story should be. Basically, our story is whatever we believe about ourselves to be true. We can be victims of our childhood suffering from emotional scars; or we can forget all of our baggage from the past and focus on who we are right now. Our story is whatever we want it to be. The biggest story of all is whether we are happy or not; whether we are the result of our past or the creation of what we believe to be true. Whenever someone asks “tell me about yourself” or “who are you?” The answer is “MY STORY.” Our past is only the training ground to be the hero of our story. If we are happy, we are the heroes. When we suffer, we are not.
The highest metaphysical/spiritual teaching is that we create our experiences, perceptions and reality. We create this individually, as a family, community, nation and world. The reality of a street beggar in India appears to be far different than the reality of the people who created Facebook. However, there is one thing in common between the two. They both are creating their experience for their own enlightenment. The street beggar has an illusion that his/her life is either easy or hard, while a multi-billionaire has an illusion that his/her life is easy or hard. The amazing thing is that the street beggar may be happy and the billionaire may be miserable. It depends on who understands that their reality is a self-created illusion and it is all good.
For me, to be a hero in my own story means that I have to take responsibility for my thoughts, words and actions and understand that whatever I am experiencing has a purpose. The purpose for my reality and the purpose of your reality is exactly the same. It is to be happy no matter what and to understand that we are experiencing the same thing viewed through different perspectives. If I am not getting what I want, then to be happy I have to change one fundamental belief. I have to want what I have. This takes a lot of discipline and courage and many people are too lazy to do this. The street beggar can be happy because (s)he accepts life as it is and doesn’t want anything else. The ironic thing is that when they become happy, God will smile and life will change. Here is the absolute truth about being a hero; sometimes it takes more effort to be happy than it does to suffer.
Sometimes being a hero means showing up and giving 100% of myself to whatever is happening at the moment. It might mean letting someone else have that parking space I was waiting for five minutes to get because I can walk. It might mean letting someone in line ahead of me because they are obviously in a hurry. It might mean being kind to someone that isn’t. It might mean doing everything simply because that is who we are, without expectation or desire for reward.
Where and who you are is the result of all your past decisions. Probably the most valuable asset we have is our smile. When we can genuinely smile in the face of challenges and fear, we will always win and be happy. When we can genuinely smile through pain and despair, we are the hero.