Anthony De Mello was a mystic Jesuit Priest, who authored many books, lead seminars, and was a therapist. The following passage was taken from his book “Song of the BIrd” :
“A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.
All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.
Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who’s that?” he asked.
“That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth—we’re chickens.” So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was.”
I share this wonderful story by Anthony De Mello because each of us is the golden eagle. When I watch an eagle I see strength, grace, freedom, and unconditional happiness. As we begin to practice surrendering our attachments, bonds, and resentments with our life, we begin to understand that we are really quite free now. Ask yourself, “How important is your happiness?” See what comes up for you. If your answer is, “Not that important”, then now would be a good time to see why, don’t you think. We seem to live life in a box, meaning that I can’t be happy until my partner changes, I am rich, have a big house, people love me, etc.. and that is not true. In fact you have a choice to be happy now. IT’S FREE. So you may be wondering, “How can something that is free, be so difficult to have or even maintain?” Good question, “What is prohibiting your state of happiness?” Oh you could say family, you could say my partner, job, education, brother, religion, boss, kids, etc…keep going, but where are you. They are all connected to the storyteller- YOU! You are telling all of us the story. Each of the people you mentioned have no idea you are holding them responsible for your happiness. So let go of the captives and you will be happy. “How?”
1. Take responsibility for the stories you tell to others, about them, and about you. I had someone tell me the other day that it was my fault they weren’t having a good time. So I suggested they look at where the words were coming from. And they smiled, and changed their attitude, by changing the story. IT’S NOBODY’S FAULT THAT YOU ARE FEELING THE WAY YOU ARE.
2. Remember nothing outside of you can make you feel anything, you choose how that thing makes you feel.
3. Practice, practice, practice