Do you know something? I've just learned something about myself. I'm always excited about something.
No, really. I just got that. I just got that about myself.
Let me tell you how I got that. I was landing yesterday at the airport. It was very exciting to me, because I was coming home after being gone on a huge tour of the world, carrying the messages of Conversations with God. I almost kissed the ground when I got off the plane!
I was thinking about how excited I was while we were flying here. I was feeling so good and so happy! And then I realized....gosh, I feel like this a lot.
I feel like this when I am leaving for a trip, and when I am coming home. I feel like this when I get up in the morning, with ideas banging around inside my brain, yearning to burst out, and when I go to bed at night filled with a good tired and the immense satisfaction of knowing I did such good stuff that day. I feel like this when I think about all the things I get to do in my life, and all the things I have done.
Do you know that I wrote one complete book while I was on that trip, and started two others? Yes! I did! I love that! I love that I did that! I love that life moves through me that way! I love that I move through life that way! How about you? Are you loving yourself and your life today?
You know what? I can even be excited about getting a cold. I can! Really! I think to myself, "Okay, so now I get to just stop everything and just lie here and take care of myself. I'll have lots of hot soup and read a little and watch a little TV (movies from my DVD collection that I haven't opened since I bought them -- waiting for a moment like this!), write a little, sniffle a lot, and just lie here and sleep 'til all the tired is out! Yea! Wow, this'll be neat.
That's how I think of a cold! That's how I engage it. Do you know what I mean? And I was thinking about this on the plane yesterday. "Neale," I was saying to myself, "you can get excited about anything." I was kind of laughing at myself about this. I was just noticing this about myself, with a smile. And here's what I decided. I decided that I am really a very positive person. The reason that I can get excited about the smallest things is that I appreciate them. I enjoy everything that is happening, right here right now.
Now let me make some observations about all this. I know and realize that I live a privileged existence. Who couldn't be excited about life if they were living the life I'm living? I know that. I am aware that there is much pain in the world, much suffering. I know that there is abject poverty and unremitting hunger and real oppression. I know that, and I never want to trivialize that or dishonor it by being flippant or gloating about how good my own life is.
Every day I have to ask myself, Does the fact that there is such turmoil and misery in the world mean that I should not happily experience my own life? Do I somehow invalidate the suffering in others' lives by celebrating the joy in mine? Always the answer comes up: no. Always God says to me, "You do not heal the suffering of others by joining others in it. You cannot bring joy to others by rejecting your own. You cannot give to others that which you, yourself, do not have."
And so, each day I move into greater and greater appreciation of the gifts that have been given me by life.
Appreciation is an interesting word. To me it means to "make larger," to "increase," as a property appreciates in value. So when I appreciate something, I increase it, I make it larger, I expand it.
I enjoy life so much! I enjoy every little thing! I enjoy getting up in the morning with tons of stuff to do! (Did I say that already?) I get excited about reading my e-mail, for heaven sake! No, I do! I really do! I can't wait to see what's in there! It's like opening a Surprise Box every day! Sometimes I even open some of the Junk Mail -- just to see what's IN there! (Junk mailers know about this, of course!) I get excited about opening my web browser just to see what the headlines of the moment are! Wow, am I addicted here, or what...
I admit it, I admit it! I've become a Data Junkie! I love to see what's happening in the world, right now. After a very short while I stop bothering to read all the silly stuff (who's going to replace Rosie on The View isn't the Curiosity High Spot of my day; the latest scoop on American Idol doesn't exactly magnetize my intellect.) But I do want to know what's going on in Congress. I do want to understand where our U.S. President stands. And I do want to know about the rest of our world. So the Internet was made for me. I've never felt so in touch with life as it is happening right now.
I also like to get "in touch" with life by staying in touch with people. Not in the virtual reality of the Internet, but in physical reality. So I can get excited about something as simple as having my children and my friends over for dinner tomorrow night. Or going over to play a game of cards at my friend's place Thursday. Or going to a movie with a loved one. Oh, heck, everything excites me! I so enjoy the moments of life.
You know what I think? I think the word "enjoy" is like the word "enliven" or "enlighten." I think it means to put joy in. To en-joy, as in, to en-liven a moment, or to en-lighten the self. To en-joy means, in my mind, to pour joy into something. You see, to me, joy is not something that exists there. It is something that I put IN there.
I always think to myself, "Bring to the room what you want to find there. Bring to the moment what you want to experience there."
From the time I was a little boy I seem to have known that nothing exists unless I place it there, nothing is real unless I make it real. I mean, in terms of experiences. Not physical stuff, not outer-world stuff. I am talking about my experience of all that. It's my experience of anything that creates my reality about it. And my experience is something that I control. Completely. Utterly. Absolutely.
That is why it is possible for me to experience a cold in one way and for others to experience a cold altogether differently.
Yes, I have a privileged life. There is just no question about that. When I catch a cold, I can take three days off and nurse it. Many others can't. They have to plow through it, go to work anyway, stand up with a fever. I don't have to. I can lie down. I can stay off my feet for a few days. I am very, very lucky...and I know it.
Yet I know people who have much more, and who have done much more, that I -- and they do not seem very happy. They are depressed. Some of them are miserable. They create dramas in their lives...about anything and everything.
I see people going around making mountains out of molehills. Becoming agitated and upset about nothing. Drama, drama, drama all the time.
Now I don't want you to think that I never become annoyed or upset. Of course I do. All of us do (except, maybe, the Dalai Lama). But what I notice is that I get over things quickly. I don't "hang out" in black spaces anymore. I move in and out of them quickly. I drop them. I let them go. I express my frustration or my anger and I let it go. Within minutes, actually.
Because none of it is real. And I see that. I make it real by deciding it is, but it really isn't, until I say so. And I like my life to be happy. I life my life to be drama-free. I watch my feelings going by like a passing parade. And the feeling I like the most is excitement. There is no doubt in my mind that that is why I get excited about everything. Whatever is happening right now, and whatever is about to happen.
I even got excited about writing this!
© 2019 ReCreation Foundation - http://www.cwg.org - Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. His With God series of books has been translated into 27 languages, touching millions of lives and inspiring important changes in their day-to-day lives.