Photo Credit: Tanja Mamas

The World’s Strongest Addiction

The news broadcasts are not really the news. They are all biased in one way or another, and generally skew towards highlighting what is wrong with the world. Even worse, most people live their lives with this mindset — dealing with one crisis after another, interrupted not by relief of the passing hard times, but by diving right into worrying about the next crisis that is sure to erupt. That is no way to live, yet it is a pandemic addiction. The world today is addicted to negativity. It is a habit.

Addiction is usually associated with pleasurable things we must give up because they are bad for our health and wellness — whether that is alcohol, fatty or sugary foods, cigarettes…the list goes on and on. But apart from these addictions that vary from person to person, there is a larger one that hangs over all of us like a dark cloud obscuring our happiness. I’m talking about society’s addiction to negativity, about society’s obsession with crisis.

I remember when I was a kid, everything was fine. Life went on from day to day and stability was taken for granted. Imagine living your life that way. Imagine viewing your life as a stream of one joy flowing on to the next, with periods of calm contentment between them. But because you are no longer a child, you are not oblivious. You plan and act wisely and responsibly, which is a good thing. But imagine how much more pleasant it would be if the state of your mind was not negative or in crisis mode. Imagine instead if you were positive, and you understood and trusted that life is fine, and that things generally work out.

Life is a bell curve. Yes, there is the rare instance of the guy who was sleeping in his bed when a sinkhole opened beneath his house, taking him away, never to be seen again. But such occurrences are way, way far out to the edges of the bell curve of life. Worrying, worrying, worrying in anticipation of the next crisis is life destroying in and of itself. Yet the “news” bombards us daily with reports of the sinkholes of the day.

Some are taught to take nothing for granted. However, there is one thing you can and should take for granted, and that is that nature supports. Your nature and Mother Nature are supportive to your life and your wellbeing. Life has a way of working out. Free yourself from the addiction to crisis. Appreciate yourself. You are a resourceful and capable being, able to handle whatever comes your way. That is your greatest asset, certainly greater than some money in the bank. Somewhere along the line people stopped believing in themselves. Then they turned to God and spirituality as a crutch to lean on. No! It is not a crutch, it is your greatness… It is the greatness of life, of humanity, of nature, of YOU.

When I was in the ashram, we always favored positivity in how we interacted with others. Note that is different from oblivion. Your eyes can be wide open while you favor a positive approach. It is important to know, not believe but truly know, that there is always a solution. If you think there is not, your world is too small… you are not thinking broadly or patiently enough.

Positivity breeds the positive in your life. Everything is fine. You are fine. Life is good. When challenges arise, they are challenges, nothing more. You will be quite capable of dealing with them. Find contentment within and act from THAT place within you. That is your home base. That is your touchstone. That is the true nature of life. When everything is quiet, you naturally and spontaneously settle into the silence of contentment… peace… shanti. When you put your head on your pillow at night, know that everything is fine. Life is positive, even if the evening news often portrays it otherwise.

Dr. Michael Mamas is the founder of The Center of Rational Spirituality, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity through the integration of ancient spiritual wisdom with modern rational thought. From personal issues to global trends, Dr. Michael Mamas helps individuals and organizations develop a deeper understanding and more comprehensive outlook by providing a ‘bridge’ between the abstract and concrete, the Eastern and Western, and the ancient and modern. Dr. Michael Mamas has been teaching for 35 years (including the U.S., India, Europe, and Canada), offers free online Surya Ram Meditation instruction, and writes on a variety of subjects on his blog, MichaelMamas.net.