“If I Just Had …, I’d Be Happy!”

I hear people all the time say, “If I just had <fill in the blank>, I’d be happy.”, with the “<fill in the blank>” being most often populated by things such as “a loving partner”, “a good paying job”, “more stable finances”, “caring friends”, “good health”, and a few notable others. But the reality is that no matter what’s placed in that sentence, none will ever bring about true happiness.

How do I know that?

Because I know of many who have had each of those things in life, including myself, and still struggled to find happiness. Over time, I learned on my spiritual journey that there are plenty of people, places, and things in life that will bring about temporary happiness, just never permanent.

Which is precisely why so many tend to go through life chasing one thing after another, believing it will fix that shortage of happiness felt within. And while it may for a period do just that, provide a level that feels satisfactory to an individual, it always wears off at some point, thus creating a never-ending cycle of seeking things outside of oneself for contentment in life.

I have spent so much of my own life searching for “that thing” that could bring about ultimate happiness. It’s what led me to jump from relationship to relationship, job to job, friend to friend, gadget to gadget, car to car, house to house, state to state, and so on and so forth, over the course of many years, yet it constantly eluded me. I truly believe it’s the ego that makes us think like this.

It makes us think that there’s something out there in this world that will fix our happiness shortage issue. And unfortunately, whenever we listen to that part of our ego, we often get caught up in some type of an addiction. That’s exactly what happened to me with alcohol, drugs, sex, and a number of other things as well over the years.

In the end, I came to understand that happiness is always going to be temporary and that I will never find anything in this world that will ever bring about permanent happiness. Anyone who says otherwise and suggests it can be found with “this” or “that” is only living in an illusion. But there is something I believe that isn’t temporary and can be cultivated on a more permanent basis within ourselves, and that’s joy.

Joy is something that comes from deep within and I choose to believe it comes from the soul. And I’ve only ever seen it result from growing a stronger relationship with my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God. But it’s not something that seems to ever come easy. It often takes a lot of being still and sitting in uncomfortability and emptiness to experience it, which most human beings don’t like to do at all.

Living in a fast-paced world where the ego wants what it wants right now causes most people to exist in that happiness-seeking process outside of themselves, never experiencing the joy that I believe only God can provide.

This is why I’ve been more still in my life these past few years than ever before, but I must admit it’s been really difficult, and I do mean difficult, to live like this. I’ve felt a profound amount of emptiness in all this sitting and waiting, constantly having to battle my ego’s incessant demands of wanting to fill it with a bunch of illusions. Yet I know I’m doing the best thing for my spiritual journey by waiting.

I’m sure some of you are thinking right now, why do we always have to wait on God for things like joy? Well in my opinion, the answer is pretty simple.

If we just had all our “<fill in the blanks>” always given to us by God, then we wouldn’t ever know what it felt like to be lacking in anything. And if we never knew what it felt like to be lacking in anything, we would never be able to be filled by something only God can fill us with, because we’d always be too full to experience it.

That’s why I’d rather remain still and continue waiting on God, sitting in all this emptiness and uncomfortability, because in the end, I know the joy that God can fill me with is going to last far longer than any of the happiness my ego will try to seek through some person, place, or thing in this world…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Parable Of The Doorman

Once upon a time, there lived a wise and righteous king who cared deeply for his people. In order to ensure that his kingdom prospered, the king summoned one of his servants and gave him this decree, “Go and stand at the door of the palace. If someone comes and asks to see me, open the door and allow them in so I may speak with them.” So, the servant went and did as the king commanded. People came from far and wide to see the king. Some were rich men, some were great scholars, others were from noble families, and when they asked to see the king the doorman gave them entry. Then one day a poor beggar came to the palace door and asked to see the king. The doorman looked him over and frowned. The beggar’s clothes were dirty and torn, he wore no shoes and was unpleasant to look at. “Surely my king would not wish to meet with such a man as this,” the doorman said to himself, and turned the beggar away. Soon the doorman began turning others away; people he deemed too poor, or too sick, or too strange. When the king discovered what was being done he summoned the doorman to him. “Why have you been turning people away from the palace?” the king demanded angrily. The doorman was surprised and replied meekly, “My king, I was only performing the duty you gave me.” “Your duty was to open the door for those who would see me,” said the king, “not decide if they were worthy to do so.”

Have you ever turned someone away from getting to know you because they didn’t meet some set of standards you personally held? While I personally don’t do this anymore, there was a time when I did and this story was a great reminder of that. As it wasn’t that long ago when I regularly overlooked those who were destitute, disabled, unattractive to me in some way, or too odd in personality or appearance. Yet in the past bunch of years, with the transition I’ve been going through, I’ve become the very thing I once would have rejected in someone else. Yet through all my ailments, my lack of a job and income, and my own set of weirdness I tend to exhibit these days, I’ve learned to find love, compassion, and acceptance for all those I used turn a blind eye towards. Ironically, I also seem to be on the other side of the coin now where I’m the one experiencing rejections from other people who I was looking to befriend. While it’s never easy to deal with this when it happens, I remain grateful because at least I know now how it felt every time I did it to someone else. Nevertheless, I know that God, and whatever other Beings of Light exist out there beyond my comprehension, fully accepts and embrace me just as I am, and that’s what I pray I will always do from here on out with others in this world as well…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Keeping To My Morning Spiritual Routine No Matter What!

How do you start each day upon waking? I’m sure all of us probably have a morning routine that begins from the very moment we open our eyes. Personally, I have a spiritual routine that I rarely alter because I tend to feel so off kilter any time I do. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that, like a friend of mine didn’t when he attempted to Facetime me one morning just as I was starting it.

The simple fact for me is that I don’t like to carry on any conversation with someone before I complete my morning spiritual practices because I often will say things that come more from my ego than my spirit when I do. And while I may check my phone for any voicemails, text messages, or Facebook messages before I begin those practices, just in case any emergencies arose during the night (given that I turn all sound notifications off while I sleep), I generally won’t communicate with anyone beyond a quick digital response such as “LOL” or “I’ll call you later.”

Sadly, my friend took one of those quick responses that morning as an invitation that I was open for a call and attempted to Facetime me several times. I didn’t answer and instead did everything I could to explain in a nice way through several text messages why I needed to do my morning spiritual routine first before I talked to him or anyone for that matter. He didn’t understand that though and proceeded to get quite angry with me, saying I was full of crap and just lying to myself. Eventually, I had to stop responding, because I knew there was no way I was going to convince him of the importance of completing my spiritual routine first and any further conversation was only going to become more ego-driven. Shortly after that, I started my spiritual routine which includes the following:

  1. Bless the two 1-liter bottles of water I’m going to drink for the day with God’s love. (Yes, I really do this every day.)
  2. Ground myself outside with my bare feet in my backyard and say a quick prayer while I touch Mother Earth with both palms.
  3. Spend about 25 minutes in prayer on my knees in my bedroom, while listening to a song that raises my spiritual vibration.
  4. Read six different daily devotionals, while listening to a second song that’s also geared to raise my spiritual vibration.
  5. Listen and repeat along to an audio attunement that my spiritual teacher personally recorded that helps to align my entire mind, body, and soul to my Higher Calling for the day.

All of this takes approximately an hour and a half to two hours of time and I’ve been doing this spiritual routine now for over five years, just like I did that morning after my brief exchange of messages with my friend.

Occasionally, when I’ve put any of this aside to make a phone call or do an errand or even complete a chore on my list for the day, I’ve had the tendency to cause more drama for myself. That’s why I didn’t speak to my friend on Facetime that morning because I didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship by saying something that arose from my ego, given how I didn’t feel connected enough to my spirit by that point. I’m not sure if he’ll ever understand that though and many often don’t. But I know I’m a far more grounded spiritual person when I keep to my spiritual routine, as compared to when I don’t. The fact is, I vividly remember what life was like when I used to wake up and hit the ground running. It was, for the most part, an ego-driven one, and something I don’t wish to ever return to.

So, if you have a spiritual routine that you do upon waking each day, I encourage you to never put it off for anyone or anything no matter what, unless there’s an emergency of course! Because isn’t connecting first to your Higher Self, your Higher Power, your God, or whatever you look to that’s Greater than you, far more important than anything that might come out of your mouth when you choose to let your ego be first instead?

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson