Please Pass The Paradox

I’m sitting at my favorite coffee house once again marveling at the power of a car wash to make rain a day later, and considering the subject of paradoxes. Merriam-Webster defines paradox as “a situation, person, or action having seemingly contradictory qualities.”

Some have said my picture belongs next to that definition, but aside from the extent to which I may personify the term to some, it has been a topic of considerable interest to me lately.

Specifically, I keep coming back to the subject with regard to the relationship between happiness and manifestation. I keep hearing that in order to create the life that I want, I need to feel good about the life I’ve got.

One of my favorite psychologists, Carl Rogers, once said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change.” So I stopped scratching my head long enough to ask The Shower Team to please ‘splain this apparent paradox . . . to help me understand about happiness as the means for getting what I think will make me happy.

We regularly say to you, “Be as happy as you can possibly be . . . feel as good as you can possibly feel where you are, and the Universe cannot help but yield to you what you are asking for. You hear this as a contradiction because you continue to believe that happiness is an outcome of having what you want and not a choice you can make at any time or any place. You continue to regard happiness as the byproduct and manifestation as the goal or objective . . . And we continue to say to you, that’s ass backwards.

We continue to dance this seemingly paradoxical dance with you because we want so much for you to get it through your thick head—or rather, to come to a fuller understanding of—the fact that happiness or feeling good is always, without exception, the reason for wanting anything that you want.

However you persist in believing that happiness is just a label attached to some object or experience and that if you can only acquire that object or experience, then you will go ahead and wear the happiness label, at least for a little while.

You miss the point over and ove–and that point would be that you can have the happiness where you stand. It is always only a choice or two away. You miss the point that as you make that choice to be as happy as you can or to feel as good as you can feel where you are, that happiness cannot help but magnetize more happiness. The happier you get, the happier you get—and the more you will draw to you those dreams and desires that will add more happiness to that happy heap.

It doesn’t take a psychologist to figure this out, but at least the one you admire managed to do so, for his words are absolute truth: The more you are able to feel good about you where you stand, the more you are able to see and appreciate the you that You really are, the more easily and effortlessly you will allow the changes you desire, because you are no longer spending most of your time and energy and attention pushing against the you that you want to change.

Rather than using the unfulfillment of some desire as an excuse to feel bad, find whatever reasons you can to feel good right there where you are. We promise that nothing can or will prevent the desires that are a match to that happiness from being drawn to you.

Practice choosing happiness. Practice feeling as good as you can possibly feel. Make that practice more important than the producing of the desired object you have associated with your happiness. See happiness as the cause and the effect . . . and get ready for the happiest ride you can imagine, to the happiest times of your life.

Sometimes I wonder if they’re really allowed to talk to me the way they do–but then who would I ask?

It’s occurred to me that perhaps we may actually prefer the bumpier rides, but that’s a paradox for another day. Today, as the sun makes its inevitable return to brighten the Colorado afternoon, I keep hearing the song, “Don’t worry . . . be happy” in my head, and wondering about the me who simultaneously gets the simple truth of that lyric and the me who usually finds it annoying.

I’m sure there’s more mulling over to do about all that, but in the meantime I will look for any happiness I can spot in my immediate vicinity . . . and allow myself to feel, if only for the moment, paradoxically complete.


About Dan

Published novelist, poet, essayist, copywriter, photographer and college educator. Visit me at

Posted on August 13, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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