Do You Expect a Happy Ending?

I was talking with a friend recently about books and writing and the popularity of various genre of novels. He suggested that one reason romance novels sell so well is basically because people want a ‘happy ending’. Of course there are many other reasons that people read that genre  – just ask Bobbi Dumas, who, on her website gives you lots of great reasons to fall in love with a romance novel –

What does it mean to have a ‘happy ending’? Many of us believe a happy ending is when everything works out the way we expect; justice is served, the good guys win, and the lovers find each other and live happily ever after. And while that may be how romance novels end, what keeps us reading is actually the challenges that the characters go through to find each other…the angst of sorting through their feelings – ‘he loves me –he loves me not’…and the overcoming of the obstacles to their being together. Not all romances have a happy ending of course – think Romeo and Juliet!  Yet we do get great satisfaction in reading stories where everything works out in the end. Of course the end of the book isn’t the end of the story – rather it’s the point at which the author has chosen to wrap things up. The story of the characters, were they real, would go on, likely with the same odds of having a ‘happy ending’ as the rest of us!

If you want a happy ending, that depends – of course, on when you stop your story – Orson Welles

‘In the end’ though, implies a linear reality of time.  What if time is simply something we’ve made up to organize and keep track of life – what if it had no beginning and no end. What if there were no endings – happy or otherwise?

Last time we looked at this business of change.

It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction at which we arrive by means of the changes (motion) of things. – Ernst Mach physicist and philosopher

Time in itself, absolutely, does not exist; it is always relative to some observer or some object. Without a clock I say ‘I do not know the time’. Without matter, time itself is unknowable. Time is a function of matter; and matter therefore is the clock that makes infinity real. – John Fowles – The Aristos

If there were no time, would that mean that there is no hurry? What if we don’t have to measure our progress and to constantly project ourselves into the future …what if there is no perfect way it “should” all turn out? What if there is only THIS moment. What if it were up to us to make a ‘happy ending’ moment by moment?

The Power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present. – Eckhart Tolle                                                                                                

You may think that choosing to make THIS moment a happy ending is clearly impossible. You may say ‘let’s be real – life happens, we experience loss, trauma and disappointments’. And so we do. And so we also all choose the way we experience these events.  We may deny – pretend that it hasn’t happened at all, and put our energy into keeping our awareness of the event deeply buried. Or, we may decide that the event is something that has ruined our life forever – that it has stolen our dreams, and we may wallow in self-pity.
We know that denial is unhealthy, so yes – do feel – but the key is to not replay the same trauma, anger or loss over and over and over in our mind, keeping the feelings alive, and replacing the moment with that same pain endlessly – but to find a way to break the cycle.

 The mind is everything – what you think is what you become.
Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent  of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned – Buddha

How do we break that cycle?  Through awareness of what matters. And, I would even venture to say awareness of how much YOU matter!  Become aware of the impact that your every word, every touch, whether it be positive or negative, has on your world and that of others. And yet we must conversely become aware that we are not that important! We are not the center of the Universe. We do not live in a romance novel, nor should we feel entitled to a fantasy style happy ending!.

Acceptance is something I’ve struggled with and now affectionately call the “A” word!  It’s when we come to ACCEPT what IS instead of always expecting something more, better or different of ourselves and of others that we break that cycle.  When we refuse to accept what is we suffer.  The Buddha taught that the root of suffering is attachment…to be free from suffering, free yourself from attachments.  The most powerful attachments are to our beliefs.  We cannot follow the Buddha’s direction without becoming conscious of our beliefs!

Here at Clay Alchemy from the Voice of Clay, we are ‘Committed to Encouraging Conscious Living’.  Our personal sessions, classes, workshops, and retreats are all designed to support you in your journey toward personal consciousness, freedom, and empowerment. Come work and play with us, and get in touch with all the ways that you can create happy endings!

And let’s close with some of the wisdom of Eckhart Tolle, Author of The Power of Now, and so much more.

To complain is always non-acceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself a victim.  When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it.  All else is madness.

 Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.

If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up re-creating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.

Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment…Surrender to what is.  Say ‘yes’ to life- and see how life starts suddenly working for you rather than against you.


shannon Burke