Are You Serious??
By Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 This article’s title can be viewed in number of ways, depending on the questioner’s reason for asking it. I have often noted where people put emphasis on words in a sentence. In the above title any of the words could be stressed, changing the meaning of the question. Here, I relate to whether you are a serious person or not.

 The word serious is also defined in several ways – “thoughtful or subdued”, “requiring much thought or work”, “deeply interested”, “not easily answered”, even “having important or dangerous possible consequents”. In this article the accent is on you and my emphasis is on your character; what kind of personality you have.

 I have always been called “serious” and when I worked for the U.S. Government, people would say that I didn’t smile enough or at all; that I was too serious. What does that mean? The beholder’s perspective drives the question or statement. To me, being serious was how I viewed life; “life” was serious.

 I have a life-long friend, who will be reading this, who used to say, “I may laugh and joke, and drink and smoke, but I don’t play”. He takes life seriously, or at least most of it, especially the part where “I don’t play”.

 Over the past few years I have thought about my “seriousness” towards life and realized that the only serious thing about life is how I view it. If you have been reading my articles for awhile, you know that I view life as “made up”, a “dream” we are living. So how can life itself be serious?

 I personally know many of you reading this and, like me, have taken life seriously. Well, get over it, life is not serious; only how you view it is. Can you be both happy and serious? It depends on how serious you are about being serious.

 “Life” as it appears to most of us consists of a chain of habits and repetition. For example, we all (well most) awaken from a night’s sleep in the morning, prepare our bodies for the day, go to work, do our job, return from work, and spend the evening on a computer or watching TV. We also eat three or more meals, do some kind of exercise, tend to our children (if you are a mom, this is a huge part of your day whether you have a job o not).

 Because the “job” part of the example above supports our family in so many ways, we take earning an income very seriously. However, this “serious” perspective itself is keeping us locked in fear that there won’t be enough money or whatever is needed. “Serious” has its pluses and minuses if taken too far.

 Since most of us are serious about some part of our lives, it is beneficial to explore just what we are serious about and why. I remember my wife saying to someone years ago “Art was an adult when he was 15”. It speaks right to my seriousness even then.

Maybe it is the time in your life to look closely at how serious you are about it, because seriousness taken beyond certain areas like those above, points to fear and stress. For example, my fear has been lack of money and therefore I am very serious about money-matters. Even though I am retired and receive a nice Government pension, for years I have strived to build my own income in case the Government pension stopped.

 This seriousness and fear has caused much stress in my life. As I get closer to knowing deep within that I am part of the Oneness that needs no money, but only Love, this fear will disappear. For, in truth, there is no need to be serious about anything.

 To me, seriousness equals stress, and as you know from past articles, stress leads to illness and death. Since supporting your family or even just yourself, is an important part of your life, you must ease in to a not-so-serious lifestyle. How do you do this?

 First, you need to admit that you are too serious or even just plain serious, about life. This recognition may take some exploration of your daily lifestyle. You might ask for help from family members to point out what you cannot see about yourself. Once you determine what area you need to work on, you can focus on “lightening up” in this area.

 Now if the seriousness is about money and supporting your family, you might find that easing up in this area difficult. If so, pick another area first that seems less important to you. Ask someone if you fail to recognize it in yourself.

 Once you have picked something, sit quietly and consider your feelings around this area. Why do you get so serious about it? Seriousness is the same as fear. What do you fear? Continue to hone in on this area until you discover what is causing your fear and why. When you discover the “why” you can release this knowing you are loved and part of the Oneness of all of life.

 Another action you can take is to become more joyful about all areas of your life. Laugh, have fun, enjoy your life, even for the areas you have considered serious. Don’t know how to do that? Watch your kids or someone else’s kids. They well show you how. Do something you enjoy more. I like to play my African drums and enjoy the rhythm. Life is for enjoying, laughing, and having fun. It is not about being serious all the time.

 As you go within more and focus on who you truly are, fear of anything will begin to disappear. Love yourself, smile at yourself, laugh at yourself, and enjoy the being of Love and Light that you truly are. Enjoy nature, feel the Oneness of all of life; this is why you are here. Life it and Be it each moment of your day and it will reward you with hugs of every kind.