“To be happy is only to have freed one’s soul from the unrest of unhappiness.”

— Maurice Maeterlinck

Everyone around me seems to be coughing these days.  There is some sort of flu bug making the rounds; and in spite of being exposed to it again and again, I have remained healthy.  I can remember suffering from such illness in the past, and my best guess is that my body is familiar with the offending germ and has set up a defense that keeps it from taking up residence.  We develop immunity to illnesses that have infected us one time so that our body is able to reject another attack.  I suppose you could say that our body uses past experience to decide what to let in and what to resist in its environment.  Germs will always be a part of our world, but our bodies are able to discriminate and develop defenses against repeated infections.  Our bodies know how to be healthy, and they can learn how not to be sick.

Happiness is similar to good health.  We know how to be happy, and we know what it feels like to be unhappy.  What we need to do is to learn from past bouts of unhappiness and build our own ability to defend against the things that rob us of our bliss.  Just as germs will always exist in our body’s world, unhappiness will always be a part of our soul’s experience in the physical plane.  What we need to learn is how to discriminate.  We need to learn to choose well what we allow to inhabit our being — what to pick up and what to put down, what to hold onto and what to release.

Just as germs can infect our bodies, negativity can infect our psyches and take up residence in our lives.  We must be careful what we hold onto and learn to release those things that make our souls suffer.  Just as a cough can be contagious, the happiness we choose to hold onto can infect our world.  The choices will forever lie all around us.  What we allow and what we don’t is our decision to make.  Lay down the unhappiness and spread your arms wide for all the good things they now are able to hold.