Today is a bit of a gloomy winters day, overcast and damp. Not a very inspiring day. I am looking for my cozy cocoon. Yes, I am one of those people who can be severely affected by the weather. Of course, my mood can be greatly improved by a mug of steaming coffee!
So, sitting here in the study, the aroma of aforementioned beverage fortifying my spirit, I am contemplating the concept of happiness. There is so much that can be said about this topic, but I do not really have the time to go into a lengthy discussion, so I will just share a few thoughts on the subject.
We all come into this world as innocent souls. Our needs are basic and so easily met. Babies do not contemplate happiness, they just are. Happy, that is. They are so quick to smile and they laugh so easily, and with total abandon, at the silliest of things. Yet, as they grow older they smile less and their laughter loses its sparkle. Happiness becomes an elusive commodity that has to be searched for, researched and the loss of it mourned. Happiness has become the victim of daily living.
I have identified a number of culprits responsible for the demise of happiness.
The first one is FEAR. As we grow older (not necessarily wiser) we become afraid of getting hurt. We are afraid to show our emotions, we fear ridicule and failure.
The next culprit is our OWN beliefs. We believe that happiness is meant for others. We start to attach conditions to our happiness. We believe that happiness has to be earned or deserved. If I do this, then I will be happy, etc. We start believing that happiness will come from the fulfillment of my desires. We think we will be happy once we get that promotion, or when I marry my lover. We equate a new car or a bigger house with happiness. This is simply not true. Happiness is free to all. It has no price tag or a set of rules to comply with.
EXPECTATION is another enemy of happiness. We expect our lives to go in a certain direction, we expect people to react to us in a certain manner or we expect a specific outcome and when that does not happen we blame it for our unhappiness. The extent to which our needs and expectations are met equals our level of happiness. As long as we have this mindset we will continue to miss out on real happiness.
Most of us have PRECONCEPTIONS. We have an idea of what our ideal partner should be like, what marriage should be like, what my life at forty should be like. These expectations are often set in stone and when faced with real life, and that it often sucks, we are unhappy. We have been so focused on these expectations that we cannot see beyond our disappointment.
SELF-DEPRECATION is a mortal enemy of happiness. We are often so hard on ourselves. We torment ourselves with thoughts of not being good enough, not deserving enough and disappointing ourselves. We have to learn to forgive ourselves and to embrace ourselves for the wonderful, unique beings we have been created to be. We will never find the happiness we are seeking as long as we run ourselves down. Instead nurture yourself and make peace with yourself. Remind yourself that you have been created worthy of love and happiness.
So, in summary. Let go of fear. Re-evaluate your beliefs. Have realistic expectations. Relinquish your preconceptions and bury the hatchet you are holding over your own head. Make a conscious choice, not one day, but right now, right where you are. Choose happiness every moment of the day. Be happy!