Stop Trying to Be Happy

Jan 1, 2023 | Choice

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

I see it all the time with clients. You give your power and happiness away to things outside your control without even knowing it. I used to do it all the time, too. 

Unknowingly you make lists like, I’ll be happy if/when …

  • Winter ends and the sun comes back
  • I can take a vacation from work
  • My partner/family/coworker changes 
  • Our house sells
  • I finally lose 10 pounds
  • The Cubs win the World Series
  • My savings account hits $10,000
  • I reach enlightenment

But that mentality limits you. 

It keeps happiness out of your reach and forces you into a “trying” energy that will never give you what you really want. When you base your happiness on something outside of your control, you’re giving away your power. It’s reckless.

What if you stopped trying to hard?

So, what if you stopped trying so hard?

I admit, when my 9-day-old daughter Amy died, I couldn’t fathom why or how the world continued to rotate. My happiness was deeply attached to her living. That belief caused me to suffer immensely. I fought reality and got my booty kicked. 🙄

Only when I accepted reality as it was and stopped adding shit to my “before-I-can-be-happy list,” was I able to experience and cherish 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 and satisfaction are spontaneous. They’re not attached to outcome.

Satisfaction is a choice. 🔥🔥🔥

When you align with joy, you can feel it whether that thing you want happens or not.

When you align with joy, you can feel it whether that thing you want happens or not. I didn’t realize it at the time, but there’s no limitation to happiness — not even the death of your daughter. ❤️💥❤️

You’re here in this thing called life to evolve. And you evolve by experiencing contrast. 

Having my daughter die was the hardest thing I’ve ever faced.

But it was also an invitation for me to show the f*ck up and live my life. 

Getting my ass kicked and practicing accepting my life exactly as it was — no matter what was happening — empowered me to decide what I needed to do to live authentically. 

Seeing my life in truth, accepting it, and giving up trying to change or control it allowed me to welcome happiness no matter what was going on.

“Come on, Rita,” you might say, “This feels a little Pollyanna. I don’t want to pretend to be happy. Sometimes life hurts so much I just want it to stop.” 

I hear you. But this isn’t about plastering a fake smile on your face to appease the good girl you were taught to be. It’s also not about denying your sadness or grief.

This is about giving yourself the freedom to fully experience life at its fullest. To do that, you need to welcome ALL your feelings and accept what life is handing you. Then you can make choices as to what’s next. 

Yes! You can choose happiness.

Being happy doesn’t depend on experiencing life sans conflict.

Being happy doesn’t depend on something outside of you changing. 

Happiness comes from accepting your life as it is (whether you like it or not) and making a choice to be happy no matter what.

Want to feel happy? Check out the self-guided healing community for women.

My friend Tim recently found out he has stage 4 cancer. I asked him, “Tim, what has been the gift of cancer for you?” 

He was blown away by my question. And he blew me out of the water with his response!

“I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. To be able to get prepared for the end of life for my Soul is the greatest gift I’ve received. So many people will be blessed by my experience. I see it. I feel it. And I believe it. 🔥

I know my future days could be kinda shitty with that cancer juice and even though I’m not looking forward to it, bring it on. 

I’ll never forget that one session I had with you years ago. I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about, but no matter what I said, you said, ‘Perfect!’

So now, I found out I have cancer and I say, ‘Perfect!!’

I’m accepting what is. Some people think I’m giving up. I’m not at all. I’m continuing to surrender to what is and I’m so blessed as I pray for this spiritual strength to be with me until the end. 

As a kid, my nickname was Beam. And I want to Beam on my way out whether it’s 8 years, 8 months, days, minutes, or seconds from now.

My death is giving me the opportunity to focus on being the Beam that I truly am. It’s a mind-blower.”

There’s so much wisdom in Tim’s words. One of the biggest lessons for me is that you don’t help people heal by going to hell with them. 

You don't help people heal by going to hell with them.

It just brings more pain into your life and the world when you’re unhappy because your partner is upset they were passed over for a promotion, or when you’re consumed with worry over whether your kid was picked on at school. 

Worry is just anticipating that something negative is going to happen. It’s like you’re emotionally preparing yourself for a negative outcome.

Choose happiness instead. 

It doesn’t mean you want others to suffer or that you don’t care about them. It just means you’re accepting them exactly where they are. Offer them kindness, compassion, and your open heart. 

Here are 2 ways to try on being happy (even when the world around you feels too much to handle). 

  1. Consciously lean into the fears and bring them to light. 

You can tell you haven’t fully healed from things in your past when you think about them and your whole body contracts, your heart feels like sludge, or there’s a huge knot in your stomach.

To live authentically, you have to lean into places of held pain and struggle from your past. 

Why? Because what you see in truth transforms. You bring consciousness, acceptance, and compassion to your pain. That allows you to keep the lesson and finally let go of the pain and struggle. That only comes from doing your work.

What you ignore festers. It gets stuck in your body, and kicks your ass again and again until you're ready to clear it.

On the other hand, what you ignore festers, gets stuck in your body, and kicks your ass again and again until you’re ready to clear it. 

  1. Learn the lessons of the contrast in your life. 

When I believed my daughter shouldn’t have died, I was living a story that kept me held in pain and suffering. 

My daughter’s death was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. It sucked. And in many ways her short life was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.

What led me to the connection and happiness I always wanted? 

  • Seeing her life for the blessing it was
  • Letting go of the bullshit story that her life should have been different
  • Giving up trying to pretend that I knew better than the wildcard of life/the Universe/God and how it played out

You can let go of the pain and struggle you’ve identified with so deeply in your past.

Your stories shape you, but they're not the truth of who you are. In other words, you are not your pain.

Your stories of who you are and what you should or shouldn’t do are often just that – stories. They shape you, but they’re not the truth of who you are. In other words, you are not your pain. 

Accepting reality exactly as it is – both the comfortable and uncomfortable – serves you far better than being attached to what your happiness should look like. 

Stop trying so hard. 

You deserve to be happy. 

You’ll never find the happiness you’re searching for if you’re stuck believing you can only be happy when someone else changes, if your kids are happy, you get a raise, you leave the country, it stops raining, or everything around you stops being the insane world that it is. 

Whether you remember it or not … You are Love. 

It’s a superpower to accept your life exactly as it is –– not as you want it to be or what you think it can be if only you try harder. 

You can choose to be happy. Right here, right now. 

Will you?

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Rita is an Intuitive Counselor who works with bright sensitive people who are sick of struggling in their relationships and want to make the pain go away. Though her in-person and online intimate healing retreats and one-on-one sessions, she has helped thousands of people quiet the noise, move forward, and make peace with their past and their present, so that they can heal, be happier, and live a life they love.

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