Want God to Laugh?
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Want God to Laugh?Tell him your plans!
In the past few days, my plans have gotten sidetracked. My wife Jesseca and I were looking forward to a brief getaway. Three days, that’s all. With the various demands on our lives, we finally settled on a date. Not going to happen though. My nieces from Arizona are coming to visit that weekend and it’s important to spend time with them.
We moved our vacation up a couple of weeks, then learned that another event would take precedence. By now, we’ve accepted the fact that too much would be going on to really allow us the luxury of a mini-vacation or to really enjoy it. So we’re back to the drawing board. We were both disappointed, but I confess that my wife handled it with much more grace and dignity than I managed to muster—at least until I took time to work through it.
I recall a talk by Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Emotive Therapy who said in his deep New York dialect, “All adult neuroses are merely adult forms of whining and pouting.” I personally can’t agree with Albert completely, but there’s some truth in this statement. Especially since I was truly in an adult pout!
So I had a little talk with myself, getting a dialogue going between the Wise Old Man and the Little Boy inside. Eventually they worked it out and I felt much better. I surrendered to the reality of what was and let go of my attachment to Life conforming to my expectations. After all, we had planned our vacation a while back and we’re both getting excited about being able to take a break like this, so therefore God should have known this and arranged things accordingly, right? Well, you know what’s been said about plans. Do you want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans!
I reminded myself that while some have it better, many have it worse. We hear this in the news every day—how some people are facing much, much worse challenges than rescheduling vacations. And here I was fussing about a change in plans. This puts such relatively trivial disappointment in proper perspective. It wasn’t too long before I heard my inner voice telling me just to get over it and move on.
This experience got me to thinking about three important values in our life: dignity, grace and integrity.
Dignity is the “state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.” The question: Can I maintain my dignity, my self-respect and sense of inherent worthiness as a human being, and extend this to all of life, other humans as well as other forms? It’s ideal to think I could carry myself through any and all experiences with dignity. But during those moments of fear, whether based in manufactured illusion or an actual life-threatening situation, I suspect it would present a challenge to do so. At least I can strive for this as much as possible.
Grace. It’s defined as “simple elegance or refinement of movement.” My wife became my model for grace in this instance. Of course, she was disappointed as well, but she moved through her disappointment like a leaf dancing in the breeze, coming to rest in the quiet ground of Earth Mother. There are moments I watch her when she’s not aware of it and my own heart fills with grace. This reminds me of a line from one of our wedding songs by Snow Patrol, called Chasing Cars: “I need your grace to remind me to find my own.” When I feel love for any of my family, friends, or anyone or anything in our world, I am in grace. An added bonus is that the more I remain in grace, the more love flows back to me.
Ah, then there’s integrity. It has two different meanings that harmonize nicely with each other. First is the “quality of being honest and having strong moral principles,” while the second related meaning is “the state of being whole and undivided.” Over the years integrity has moved to the top of my list, an inviolable yet forgiving value that I’ve worked on for many years. My aim is to walk my talk, to truly be a man of integrity. I’m one of these wounded healers from day one compelled to figure out this world and how the dickens I can fit into it while honoring my soul’s purpose. These days the utmost in integrity is maintaining conscious contact with God. Since God speaks to us in so many different ways, it’s a matter of learning to be a good listener.
Dignity, grace, and integrity. That’s not all there is to life, but these values are certainly something we strive for and attune to as much as possible. When we do, life becomes smoother and easier to negotiate, no matter what our expectations are.