December 5

But I’ll Get Dirty

December 5, 2016

Personal Growth

When we finally realize how much our lives are ruled by fear, how little unconditional love we have, and how much we need to change in order to be happy, that can all seem overwhelming. If we really want to be happy, however, we must see the truth about ourselves, give up our addictions, change the way we see and relate to people, tell the truth about our mistakes to a great many people, and more. Sometimes this work gets messy—vulnerable, frightening, disorienting, painful—but the work still has to be done. There is no other way. Houses never build themselves. Happy lives don’t either.

I do a lot of work outside in my backyard. Every day I decide what needs to be done, or what I want to do, and then I gather the proper tools and get to work. What I do NOT do is to think:
“Oh, but I’ll get muddy.”
“That’s going to be a lot of work.”
“I’ll get too hot and tired.”
“What if it doesn’t work?”
If I did allow that kind of thinking, I’d never do any work outside.

But this is exactly what most people do when they ask me how they can change their lives. I describe what will be required, and almost all their objections boil down to “But I’ll get dirty,” or “But this is too hard.”

The primary decision we must all make—primary both in importance and in chronological order—is whether we truly want to be happy. If we don’t make that decision first, we’ll become mired in decisions about whether we want to take each difficult or messy step. Life is so much easier—and happiness infinitely more possible—if we first decide that we want to be happy, and if then we do not vacillate about that primary decision. If we don’t make that decision permanently—or worry that we might get a little dirty in the fulfillment of it—we’ll never know genuine happiness. Instead we’ll be tossed about by every gust of wind that life inevitably provides.

Genuine peace and happiness are worth every effort and fragment of courage we can summon to achieve them. Happiness is the purpose of our existence, and we must not shirk from decisions that are difficult, including those that might be a bit messy.

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