Dare to Be Happy

By Daniel Tipton*


This article comes about after an intense weekend which involved 20 hours of group therapy. It revealed some thinking habits that have caused me a great deal of misery over the years. What was revealed was that I tend to stay in bad situations out of guilt. My rationale for staying in them is that if I leave I would be “running away” or “giving up”. Another rationale was that I would be avoiding a “challenge given by God”.

The question is, when do I keep going and when do I abandon ship? Guilt has guided me to stay in some bad situations for far too long; situations that were only perpetuating more guilt. There is another reason I stay in these situations, and that is that I see myself as the savior. It is a heavy burden to try and save people that don't want to be saved. Perhaps, I've also been a little arrogant to try and take these situations into my own hands, rather than let God be my guide.

I recently (yesterday) quit a job that was all but hopeless. People there were miserable, much of the management was incompetent and lazy, and it was an all-around sick environment. I chose to stay, however, because I was supposed to be the savior, and if I left, that would be running away, and that is not what God would have me do. What I had to realize, and what caused the most stress was that most of these people didn't want to change. In fact, they actively resisted and sabotaged change. The truth is, I was enabling the misery rather than helping it.

My mind shifted over the weekend. Not all the way yet, but enough for me to realize I couldn't spend another single minute at that job. There are situations that we can help, and there are situations where we can only perpetuate guilt.

Paramahansa Yogananda says that we must find “agreeable” work. Robert Monroe, is his book, Ultimate Journey, says: “Maintain your transient status. You are being human at your own option in the strictest sense. That option remains force throughout your visit. You may pack up your experience and leave whenever and for whatever you desire, with no censure or penalties from any source that matters. If your human mind is satisfied, you will do this in spite of custom or effort.”

We are here to be happy. This is rule #1 for being human. The trouble with this is that we have this pesky thing called guilt that literally makes us insane. It drives us to do things that go completely against our own best interests and what would make us happy. The other thing is that change, or moving on, is scary. There is an element of the unknown that our human minds have a very difficult time with. This is why the running title for my articles is Dare to be Happy.

The hard part is.........


......knowing when to abandon ship. Maybe it is when we are not growing anymore. Maybe it is when we reach a point of stagnation. One helpful sign may be guilt. If we are doing something out of guilt, something is wrong and needs to change. It may be a shift in perception or a shift in jobs. Regardless, doing something out of guilt is completely useless, and a disgrace to who we truly are. If guilt has been our guide, it is time to get back to the drawing board.

In my case, I realized that guilt has been the foundation of my choice-making. I have had to uproot my entire life because of this. I left a bad relationship of 5 years, I am leaving a job and an industry that I stayed in much longer than I should have, and I am reevaluating family relationships. It is time to question everything, because years of decisions have been made based on a scared, deceiving, self-defeating mentality. I'm ready to stop dragging around these boulders of guilt.



*Daniel Tipton resides in Omaha, NE and is a member of the Course in Miracles Society study group. He is in his second year of the 2 year ACIM Ministerial Program offered by the Community Miracles Center; Daniel attended the 2011 Annual ACIM Conference in San Francisco and is currently working on a masters degree in Counseling at UNO. He will be assisting at the 2013 ACIM Conference which will be held in Chicago. Daniel TiptonMore Conference Information here

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