How to be happy… Happiness is a hot topic these days. Please know this: I am a therapist who shares. I have been told I wear my heart on my sleeve, and that may make some people feel uncomfortable, but for others it is refreshing to have someone to talk to who is on their level, has gone through and is going through the same stuff that they have and are going through, because, let’s face it, life is tricky!
Children display spontaneous happiness, until the beliefs that they are surrounded with get the better of them. I have been questioning the meaning of life since I was around 12 years old, ‘what’s it all about?’ I used to ask myself. Why do they say in church, ‘love one another’, when adults around me are displaying emotions which don’t feel like love: disappointment, dissatisfaction, a perpetual feeling that nothing is quite good enough, even anger towards one another and me, a little person who is trying to work it all out the best she can. If love is the most powerful force, and the answer to the world’s problems, why don’t people use it more in their communications with one another? Thankfully adults are somewhat more respectful at least in their communications with children these day, I think on the whole…
Whatever energy you grow up surrounded by (and even thoughts are energy), that is how you learn how you see yourself and what to expect from life, we develop beliefs based on the beliefs we inherited and observed while we are growing up. We are like sponges until the age of 6 or so and have no filter, everything seems polarized into good (for me) or bad (for me), because until that age, I am the centre of the Universe, (I think). If someone in authority over me is disappointed or angry at something I did or did not do to their satisfaction I will start to believe that I am at fault, that it is me that is not good enough…do you agree?
We are so similar and yet obviously totally unique. We are so incredible, yet most of the time we do not see it, we judge and criticize ourselves for the smallest of perceived misdemeanors, ‘idiot, you forgot the milk, again!’ We have learned to be hard on ourselves, does it really help?
I believe we are moving away from the fundamental belief that we have to work extremely hard to be ‘happy’ that satisfaction in achieving goals equals happiness. Because although it is very satisfying to achieve goals, what about the journey? Can’t you be happy along the way too, knowing that you are good enough in every moment? Because when you achieve one goal, another one is going to come along and present itself to you to get you working hard again, until all you are doing is longing for the next holiday and you wonder where your life has gone.
We can find an inner sense of peace by being content to just be. To enjoy each and every moment, whether or not it is taking us in the ‘right’ direction. If we can nurture this sense of being, which is obviously not a new concept but one which our society has lost touch with in this competitive age, we may be able to be kinder with ourselves, and kinder to the vulnerable people we share our lives with, the young ones and the elders, who are trying to work things out day by day too.