If I ask any one of you, what is the one thing that you ultimately want in life, I take it for granted that your answer is going to be, happiness. Don’t be surprised, the same question will be answered in the same way by the elders too, including senior citizens all over the world. If you have any other answers, it would seem that the question had not yet reached the heart, the natural storehouse of happiness. The key to open the door of the store is love, and you are given total freedom to deal with it as you like.
The frequency, intensity and duration of happiness depend on the quality and the measure of love you have stockpiled in your heart. Hearts are more or less similar in size. A human heart is often compared to the size of a fist and a cow’s heart has the size of a human head. Poor cow! Size does not matter when it comes to love and happiness. Even a dog’s heart, biggest among the animals in its proportion to its size, cannot generate love, so no real happiness is possible for dogs either, except ‘puppy love’. If the heart centre is awake and aglow, it soaks up the entire being into loving — becomes self-love; self in the embrace of love. When that becomes true, happiness is guaranteed. Size does not matter, quality does. Some fist-sized hearts can contain an ocean of love. Some others may be ponds of it. Some may even be drying up…
The heart does not know how not to love, it is learned on the way. Heart, because its objective is love, wants relationships not divisions. To create divisions, the mind has to advise, to coax and to compel the heart to produce something that it does not want — hatred. If you hate anyone in the world, the psychological X-ray shows that there is hatred, a virus in your heart. It does not matter towards whom your anger is directed, you become the first culprit and begin to punish yourself although your wish is that someone else gets harmed. You are then one virus-affected.
Your hatred could be towards the people in your family, in the office, in school, a political party, towards another religion, another country, persons of different colours, races and so on, but the truth is that your heart is carrying a harmful virus, unmasked. Hatred is a killer virus. A happiness eraser. Being what it is, if there is more hatred than love in someone, that person can be tempted to take his/her life.
An aggressive person can choose to choke others to death. If there is more hatred in a family than love, that family will gradually collapse. If there is more hatred in the universe than love, it will begin to disintegrate. Has the Corona virus appeared like an angel, warning us all once again to produce the vaccines of love in our hearts, urgently and in abundance and distribute it all over? A heartless universe with all heads will have a heart failure!
Take a few minutes daily to silently love and befriend your heart and to follow its counsels. Every happy person has got to be a heart person. The genius in the maker of the heart is seen in the way you are going to work with it. It’s all on you. If you have love, you are going to receive more than what you had. If you don’t have, (let me use an expression from Jesus) “even what you have will be taken away from you”. The heart has only one gentle command: keep loving! The rest will be done to us. The neurotransmitters of love almost simultaneously turn on all happiness hormones fitted in the brain. Along with the heart and the head, the hands will effortlessly join in and sing, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!” You will be rewarded with one more ‘h’ word, health, along with head, heart and hands.
Some illness-wellness thoughts
- The heart does not attack; that would be self-destruction. Our emotional stress does. Give it what it needs, the amino acid of love. And you will be healthy and happy.
- The brain does not strike. Our binge thinking does. Cultivate mental calmness and insure your life in God’s hands. And you will be healthy and happy.
- The cancer does not kill, we store up dead cells that decay and die. Breathe out guilt, shame and non-acceptance, breathe in self-love. And you will be healthy and happy.
- Diabetes does not affect your sugar levels; we squeeze out sweetness from our life. Stop searching for the flavour of ego or the sourness of low self-esteem. Sweeten your life with the gift of true self. And you will be healthy and happy.
- Gastroenteritis does not make our stomach swell up; we inflame it with gassy exaggerations and remain too choosy to accommodate others’ views. Empty yourself of past accumulations. Fill your belly with the proteins of positivity. And you will be healthy and happy.
- Constipation does not glue up our bowels, we fill our stomachs with miserly and tight-fisted ideas that do not digest. Give generously and receive aplenty. And you will be healthy and happy.
- Body does not cause aches; we fail to value and give time for our bodies. Give it gentle conscious care not forcibly but attentively and regularly. And you will be healthy and happy.
- Asthma does not suffocate us, our feelings of being unwanted chokes our lungs. Breathe in the fresh air of your goodness, acceptance and love till your lungs and body know it and accept it. And you will be healthy and happy.
- The head does not create aches; we overburden our heads for some hidden benefits, don’t try to prove to the world you can. Just be you. Give the head time to relax into wellness. And you will be healthy and happy.
- The skin does not cause psoriasis; we do not believe we were tangibly loved the way we deserve, massage your skin with the oil of self-acceptance and love. And you will be healthy and happy.
- The blood does not increase or decrease its pressure; our tensions force them to follow our commands. Give the mind the chance to relax and catch up with the messages of the heart. You will surely be healthy and happy!
Ittoop Panikulam, SVD, is a trained counsellor, psychotherapist and spiritual guide. Having healed himself of asthma, he conducts workshops for asthma and allergy patients psychotherapeutically and without medicines. He guides bi-weekly holistic meditations for people of all religions at Dhyan Kutir. The Higher Consciousness Circle (HiCoC), composed of professionals from various fields, was formed there three years ago.