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Living option


kamurj

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Excerpted from
To Love Is to Be Happy With
By Barry Neil Kaufman

As we become happier, we become more loving and accepting. This increased comfort results in a greater degree of clarity and ease with which we handle our affairs. Such input is beneficial to all involved. Thus, as a happier person, our self-serving efforts not only pay tribute to ourselves, but to those around us.

In our happiness, we move toward what everyone around us wants for us and for themselves.

When I am comfortable and clear, my awareness is that I would want people to be as happy as possible and know their happiness results in their being more loving and less self-defeating . . . which could only be beneficial to me. Even if my lover became alienated by my evolving happiness or my peers were off-balanced by my growing sense of comfort, they, too, if they were happy and non-judgmental, would want for me what I want for myself. And when I am happy, I too would want for them what they want for themselves.

Does that mean when I am happier, I would want for my lover or friends what they want for themselves, even if they are behaving with unhappiness and forming self-destructive involvements? By refraining from judging them or having conditions and expectations attached to my loving, I am in harmony with their wanting by my acceptance and respect for their unhappiness and self-defeating behavior. This does not mean I would still not want them to be happier or would not try to help them to become happier. If they function from discomfort, I can know they are believing it is the best way for them to take care of themselves based on their beliefs. For the moment, they are doing the very best they can.

The more loving, more lucid and more caring I become, the more I tend to give people around me the space and freedom to be all they want. It is only when I am encumbered by anxiety and fears that I see the confinement or restriction of others as advantageous to me. Motivating others through anger and threats reaps a self-defeating harvest.

If the universe is inscribed in the core of my nature, imprinted like an indelible mark, then for me to follow me is to follow the universe. Beneath the clouds of discomforts, there is an easy, direct flow. The Option Process is a way to hook into that flow ... a way of becoming happier. Thus, Option is a path back to ourselves, not so much a rigid tool or learned technique as it is an attitude and a developing process of seeing. The truths and revelations come through us, rather than to us. What we confirm and affirm is on no one's authority but our own. We verify what is so based on our knowing. No one will stand at the crossroads directing us to the left or right, no one at the blackboard outlining the desired activities. It is for us to decide.

For some, the attitude of "to love is to be happy with" creates the method. For others, the method of the Option dialogues precipitates the attitude. In either case, Option provides a beautiful, loving and mellow route, which cuts through the ambivalence, complexity and judgments of many disciplines . . . giving each of us a blueprint into which we can breathe character and life.

The questions of the dialogue remain clear and simple. What are you unhappy about? Why are you unhappy? Why do you believe that?

Once we peel away the multilayered skin of beliefs which we have been systematically taught and which we have acquired (by acting on them and giving them power), we find our own equilibrium and learn to heed the direction of our inner currents. This expression of our individuality and creativity is an act of nature ... in conformity with other acts of nature.

If I love by being "happy with" and I am happy by loving, then I take care of the potential of the whole human race while taking care of myself. In living Option, I create a vision and life-style with dramatic and diverse applications.

Each of us now stands on the threshold of endless possibilities. We do not need a hatchet to explore; we had only to give ourselves permission. This book has been but a guide in the journey across the landscape of our beliefs. Its meaning will change from hand to hand. It has been and will be as effective as we want it to be.

As it was for me initially, I suspect just an exposure to Option concepts generates real and lasting changes as we discard old beliefs. We can become our own "therapons" . . . gentle, prodding and accepting second voices for ourselves.

We have only to do it, only to choose to do it. This, then, becomes the gift of the Option Process . . . the opportunity for us to give ourselves back to ourselves. With each new awareness, whether it be of our perfection or stumblings, we are enriched . . . and enriched . . . and enriched. The results of our acts are not indictments, but lessons on which we glide to greater happiness and effectiveness.

We can defrock unhappiness if we want. Significance, intelligence and caring is not measured by the "sensitivity" of discomfort and grief. Thinking and loving is neither dependent on nor enforced by misery. We can, here and now, choose to delight in our humanity not with a melancholy and skeptical indifference, but with a soft, gentle and loving embrace. The walls we have built around us are only monuments to fear. Allowing ourselves to be more loving is a joyful pursuit.

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