Happiness is like a Boomerang
If you know anything about Australia besides our Koalas and Kangaroos which I have hardly ever seen except for when I go to the Zoo, you might also know about another fixture of Australiana, and that’s our Boomerang! When you throw them, they come back or at least that’s what they’re supposed to do.
And the good news is, so is your peace, well-being and happiness. When my mother died in 1986 the whole family was devastated. She had cancer and was given two years to live and unfortunately only lasted 6 months before she passed on.
Two weeks later after her passing, Dad and I were doing the laundry together and all of a sudden, my Dad starts singing. At the time, I was beside myself with anger, frustration, and disbelief! How could you sing when Mum just died? The wound was still raw and sore! I couldn’t understand this, especially when Dad found it very hard to live without the love of his life and in fact, he himself was so devastated that he passed on only 10 months later himself.
I never took Dad up on this as I didn’t feel comfortable discussing it at the time, but after learning what it means to have a clear mind, I was able to understand what went on with my Dad back in 1986. I don’t think he understood it but I certainly do now.
Going back to our natural set point of wellbeing
When we settle down from a lot of stressful thinking, we go back to our natural set point of well-being and happiness. It’s always going to come back to you because that is your natural system set point and that is exactly what happened with my Dad. He had a space between his melancholy and loss of his beloved wife while he was just all caught up in doing the washing with me and he temporarily forgot about his troubles. His mind went blank from that and it allowed his natural set point of wellbeing to come back to him. I could tell that he was in a good state of mind because he was singing and genuinely happy at the time.
No pressure and effort required to find wellbeing in your unhappiness
This is not something that is on you and you don’t need to use some sort of technique to get into this peaceful state. When I learned about the principles behind a clear mind, it hit me in a way that I saw that I don’t need to put all this pressure on myself. When I just let go of the idea that I need to find my wellbeing in my unhappiness, it was like a massive release because I realized that it doesn’t work that way.
It didn’t matter how distressed I became on an emotional level because I saw that I was going to be okay.
I’m okay even though right now I’m not
In psychology, there is that talk about parent-child attachment. The idea is that when children have a healthy attachment with their parent, they feel more comfortable leaving the nest, they don’t feel uncomfortable leaving home or not being with their parents at a young age. I realized that this idea gave me an experience of connection with my well being because it allowed me to be okay even when I couldn’t have any experience of my well-being in the moment.
It’s a level of confidence I have inside of myself where I don’t have this idea that I need to feel okay all the time. It’s kind of like I was a little baby that would cry all the time when my mom left the room. Every time I lost my well being, I would freak out thinking, “Oh no! This isn’t good.” But then it shifted, “oh, it’s eventually going to come back like a Boomerang. I’m going to experience my well being again. It’s not that it’s not there, it’s just that I can’t feel it right now and it doesn’t matter that I can’t feel it right now.” That was the freedom for me, the knowing that my okayness is still there even though I can’t feel it, see it, or taste it in that moment.
Once the change happens it’s sustainable and everlasting
It created a sustainable change. It’s something that hasn’t gone away from that moment and it doesn’t mean that I’m not human and it doesn’t mean that I don’t have my low moods or my insecurities and all my human experiences. This newly discovered freedom allowed me to stop monitoring myself so much and to stop trying to be so good and perfect all the time.
It allowed me to have the humility to be myself with my limitations and just show up and do my best. And now I’m more comfortable with the full range of my human experience and get to see more of it. I also find myself more compassionate and kind with myself in the process. That tiny realization of knowing that my ‘Boomerang natural set point’ will come back had such a big impact in all areas of my life.
When I saw that I wasn’t broken, when I saw that my human experience wasn’t an indicator of something being wrong with me, it allowed me to be with what is a much more accepting, compassionate way. It also allowed me to not take my negative thinking so seriously. And when I looked at my wife Shainy, when she was in a low mood, I didn’t have to get scared because I knew that she was going to come back to herself, just like my Dad did with his singing.
We all eventually come back to our true nature of Peace Happiness and Wellbeing
And in terms of my kids, it was about allowing them to have some sort of emotional experience without feeling that there was something wrong with them because it’s just part of the human experience. As a by-product of seeing that, there is a lot less conflict because if I’m not so scared when Shainy isn’t herself, I’m much less likely to try and fix the situation in the worst possible time. I’ll be much more likely to think that it’s not such a big deal and just ride it out while I watch how she miraculously returns to her true beautiful nature. And our kids naturally come back to their true nature as well.
We are all wellbeing but we just get temporarily disconnected from it
It’s just our natural state to have big and small insights. When I say natural state, that is you. The intelligence behind life is you, it is me, it is all of us, it is everything and there is no escaping it. And the more I see it, the more it allows me to experience that. And even when I’m in my human experience and I can’t see that, it’s still me. I’m not different, it’s just my experience of where I’m at is different, but I haven’t actually changed. This is all of us every single moment of every single day.
The wasteful effort in trying to stay in a good mood
In my early days of self-help, I was always trying to manage my moods going up and down. I was trying to make sure that it didn’t go down, but that was often not possible and the good news is, it doesn’t matter. We all go up and down, in and out with our state of mind and that’s fine.
Our natural set point is always better than a Boomerang
And my natural set point of happiness is actually better than a Boomerang because it will always come back. Unfortunately, if you buy a cheap Boomerang here in Australia it doesn’t always fly so reliably and come back. Thank God, our natural set point is not a Boomerang because we’ll always do better than that!