The Primrose Path posted originally @ www.3pgc.org/blog/

Beautifully written, please enjoy these words of wisdom:

“I shall the effect of this good lesson keep, 
As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother, 
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do, 
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven; Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine, 
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads, 
And recks not his own rede.”

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene III, spoken by Ophelia

Since the 1600’s when Shakespeare first coined the term “primrose path” in Hamlet, and used it again later in Macbeth, people have used this famous idiom when referring to “taking the easy path to hell”, “the road to nowhere” or “the pathway of futility”.

Most people innocently live their lives walking – often sprinting — on a primrose path paved with their preferences, wants, needs, desires and obsessions. Unfortunately, it is an insidiously logical way to live in our world today. It seems perfectly rational to believe that those who find ways to fulfill the greatest number of their needs and desires are happiest. People who have the most unmet needs in their lives are the unhappiest.

Of course that’s true.

So we establish our ideals around what our lives and circumstances should be, set goals, pursue them, achieve them – and we are happy… right? Well, we all know that it doesn’t quite work that way. All too often, we set our goals and work toward them – sometimes for a very long time – only to achieve them and find that, not only did it not make us happy, but we’re disappointed. Sometimes we are even distraught.

Something’s wrong.

Usually we assume that ‘something’ is that we simply established the wrong goals (wants, needs, desires) in the first place. Yeah, that’s it. So we dutifully re-think things a little, establish new desires and goals, and start the process all over again. This cycle can be repeated for years… often for a lifetime.

Armed with an understanding of The Three Principles, one realizes that this whole process and belief system is upside-down and that life is actually an inside-out proposition.

When we understand The Principles, we realize that people aren’t unhappy because their needs aren’t met. Rather, people perceive wants, needs and desires because they are unhappy. In other words, they have lost touch with their innate sense of peace and contentment – their birthright—and they convince themselves it’s because they lack certain “stuff”.

The Principles help us to see clearly that by putting our attention on our perceived wants and needs, we give them life and control over us by allowing them to pull us farther and farther away from that peace. When we approach those wants and needs with understanding, humility and humor, we see that the only “problem” is that we’ve tricked ourselves into believing that they are real when in actuality they are just made up illusions – products of our personal thinking, run amok.

Through our humility and humor, we recognize that we are simply caught up in these illusions and we are walking down a primrose path toward, in the best case, disappointment and futility — or, in the worst case, suffering and “hell”.

As we remove our attention and energy from our illusory, made-up preferences, wants, needs and obsessions — and see them as thought – everything changes. Suddenly, we are free to be in the moment and to be fully connected to life and to our innate peace, fulfillment and mental health. This is our natural state – uncontaminated by phony, ego-driven demands.

Amazingly, just understanding this is enough. Once we see it, we naturally and automatically become more open to and touched by life, and we easily embrace whatever comes our way. And we experience the deep feelings of peace and contentment that are available to us in every moment.

As our understanding deepens, our wants, needs and desires – which once seemed so crucial to our happiness — are “downgraded” to the lowly title of preferences… or they dissolve altogether. Obsessions disappear; debilitating addictions are stopped in their tracks. All of it just seems so silly when juxtaposed with the deep abiding peace that lives in the place that we never left.

And we will live in that place… until we think we don’t.

Inevitably, we will be seduced again by ego thoughts and we will take another stroll down that primrose path – paved with a new set of wants, needs and desires – or maybe the same old ones we’ve walked on over, and over and over.

But there may well be a spring in our step now, because the more aware that we are of how this all works, each trip will be marked by fewer and fewer steps.

Until, perhaps, one day we will choose to walk the primrose path no more.

This entry was posted in Quiet State of Mind on by .

About Marian

When I was barely three years old I was given to a step-mother by my father along with my five brothers and sisters. She brought into this new family her own two small children; the eight of us were all very young. My new mother along with my father decided how best to raise all of us; this included violent and abusive punishments and inappropriate ideas of right and wrong, including alcoholism and infidelity on my father’s part. My mother was particularly angry with me, I have no idea why but I made up that it’s because my father favored me over all the others, most importantly her own children. Whether this is the truth doesn’t really matter anymore as it was a long time ago. I left home the day after my eighteenth birthday which coincides with the last time she laid an abusive hand on me. Unfortunately, I took all the negative feelings I’d developed about myself based on my upbringing with me and proceeded to find and cultivate one bad and abusive relationship after another until, and without a another thought about it, I stopped the madness when I was about 35 years old. I’m now in my late 50’s with two grown daughters and four grandchildren. I have a degree in Social Work, I’m a certified teacher of The Three Principals, a counselor for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and I worked more than seven years with homeless men and women diagnosed as severely mentally ill, addicts, and victims of every type of heinous crime against human beings. I’m married just over 21 years to a loving man who supports me emotionally and, now, financially. He believes I have a wonderful calming insight to share with others who are survivors of their lives just like me. That’s how I see myself now, a survivor of my own life. I will discuss empowering insights that were shared with me regarding how we innocently see the world and how we can easily choose to see and feel differently about everything. Not just everything around us but more importantly about who we are. We are all unknowingly living our lives as if there are no other choices. Yet daily deep within each of us we hope there’s something better and we spend countless hours looking for just that. I have a few ideas as to how you can let all the sadness, frustration and anger go allowing the essence of who you are take hold. My perspective is positive, my hope is boundless and my belief is secure. I listen without condemnation. I will always direct you back to where all emotional issues rest in a positive and compassionate way. There is no anger in me, I do not seek to avenge the past and I live now in this moment rejoicing that I exist today to enjoy the gifts I’ve been given. We are all powerful, unlimited and are creations of pure Love! Thank you for visiting with me, I truly hope you will find what you’re looking for and if not, let’s talk! Marian