Have you ever noticed that happiness is always dependent on something happening or not happening?
We have all had our lists of “I’ll be happy when…”
I get through this week
The storm is over
If the storm misses us
The people who are driving me crazy get psychiatric treatment
I get a new job or make more money
My partner/co-worker/friend changes
I win this game
I eat a box of twinkies
I lose weight
I sell this house
I get this award (or achieve this milestone)
Think of your own “happiness is” list. Guess what; these lists limit us.
I often see clients who are devastated because they try so hard to be happy and yet, happiness always seems out of their reach. Time and time again these lists get in the way of happiness. Think of it this way: why would I delegate responsibility for my experience of life to someone else, or something else external from myself, that may or may not even happen? What if we simply stopped trying to be happy?
Instead of “trying for happy”, I suggest you ask yourself these questions when you find yourself unhappy:
What if I am here, in this thing called life, to evolve?
What if a part of my evolution is to experience the contrast of fear and love?
What if I opened to learning the lessons the contrast offers and let go of the pain and struggle I have identified with so deeply in my past?
What if I opened to consciously leaning into fears and bringing them to the light of consciousness?
Whether you remember it or not… You are Love. When you do your work, you bring consciousness, acceptance, and compassion to your pain. This allows you to keep the lesson and to let go of the pain and struggle. This process is essential for your transformation and your happiness.
Releasing the need for happiness may sound bleak, but what if you simply experienced and cherished the joy in moments? A deep breath. A sip of hot tea. A soft bed. A sunrise. A bite of food. A dog’s soft ears. Joy is spontaneous, not attached to outcome. When you align with joy, you can want something, and yet feel joy whether it happens or not! No limitation!
Your stories of who you are and what you should or should not do are often just that – stories. Accepting reality exactly as it is – both the comfortable and uncomfortable – serves you far better than an attachment to an expectation of happiness.
I admit, when my daughter Amy died, the world continued to rotate even though I couldn’t quite fathom why or how. My happiness was deeply attached to her living. This belief caused me to suffer immensely. I fought reality and reality had its way with me.
You get to be supported. The good news is you don’t have to know what the new way is. I applaud those of you who courageously are on this path doing your work. Living authentically requires exploring places of held pain and struggle from your past. What you look at, really look at, transforms. Come play and know you are safe.