You cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.
Excerpted from the workshop in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, September 13th, 1997 # 462
I know what Abraham is getting at here, but I have a slightly different take on this notion of happy endings. I understand that Abraham is trying to help people create happy, positive journeys, and I am all for that idea. But the first 50-or-so years of my life were an unhappy journey, with occasional cloud-breaks of self-satisfaction. My sister S. told me today about hearing from someone else the following descriptions:
- An egomaniac with low self-esteem
The idea of self-importance describes fairly well the way I lived most of my life. Of course, everything was about me, because I was the center of the universe, and if you didn’t believe that, I was always ready with examples. Depression and hopelessness were my watchwords, but rather than retire, I pushed myself onto the world, by drinking too much alcohol, smoking too much marijuana, and having way too many meaningless sexual encounters. This was my life.
And then, as I have said here before, everything changed. All of the concepts of high self-esteem, forgiveness, and new ways of relating to others that I’d been hearing from people for years came together in one shot, one night, and since then I feel like a brand-new person altogether. I decided not to be sad anymore. I decided to be happy. I slapped a smile on my face, which took about two minutes to become genuine. And I’ve only infrequently stopped smiling since.
So if I were to restate Abraham’s idea, based on my experience, I would say:
You cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey, unless you are willing to set aside sadness and choose joy instead.
That sounds far too broad; arrogant as well. Let’s try this:
I cannot have a happy ending to an unhappy journey, unless I am willing to set aside sadness and choose joy instead.
That’s what I meant to say.