As a naive high schooler, I was in awe of pretty girls. I thought they were pretty much perfect creatures who could get lovestruck boys to satisfy their every whim just by batting their eyelashes. Did I mention I was naive? With a capital N?
As I grew older, I realized that good looks, like lots of money or superior intellectual or athletic ability, are no guarantee of happiness and offer no protection from psychological and emotional challenges. Indeed, those who seem to be “the chosen ones” often view their supposed advantages as more curse than blessing.
Case in point: Portia de Rossi—who now goes by her married name, Portia DeGeneres, in private life—an actress whom I, as a red-blooded American male, can only describe as smoking hot. Yet she is Exhibit A in the argument that Gorgeous does not equal Happy. In her new book, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, she comes clean about her lifelong eating disorders, sexuality issues and self-loathing. An excerpt:
When it’s quiet in my head like this, that’s when the voice doesn’t need to tell me how pathetic I am. I know it in the deepest part of me. When it’s quiet like this, that’s when I truly hate myself.
I felt a deep sadness when reading that. Portia de Rossi always struck me as being exceptionally smart, funny and beautiful: the perfect trifecta. Yet the admiration of millions is meaningless to someone who doesn’t admire herself.
How many of us have thought, I’d be happy if only I could have her looks, his money or her smarts? The truth is, expecting to find happiness in external conditions is like expecting to grasp a sparkling jewel by reaching into the mirror that reflects it. Besides, odds are that you’re already happier and healthier psychologically and emotionally than the “lucky few” you envy.
Perhaps it’s time to stop wishing you were more like somebody else and celebrate the gifts that are yours and yours alone. The only obstacle between you and happiness is the belief that there is an obstacle between you and happiness.
Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
Henry van Dyke
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.