Finding Happiness In An Experience
In an effort to find contentedness, the journey and drive for happiness seems paramount to many yet so unsustainable doesn’t it?
“If I could just get that promotion I’d be so happy.”
If I could just get that bonus level and receive that Bonus cash all of my financial worries would be gone and I’d be so happy.”
If I could …
If I could..
If I could.
“If if’s and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.“-Old mobile home proverb lol
Take in consideration this common question that has a common fallacy attached to the framing of it:
“What makes you happy?”
Did you catch it? That’s right, there is one word in that one little question that falters you from the get go. Nothing on this earth can make you happy. Happiness comes from within and comes with risk.
A better question to ask is, “What action or choice could I make in this moment that could improve my over all experience.”
Happiness comes from how you interpret your experiences not the actual experience itself. One person could find joy in a babies laughter and another could be completely annoyed from it because he’s trying to focus and read something. The babies laughter didn’t change, how the person experienced it did.
For many unconsciously living individuals this is so desperately difficult to grasp. Hell I’m conscious of it and I still struggle with it at times.
Where Does Happiness Come From
Well when you consider the 6 primary emotional drivers of people you realize the experience of Happiness can come in many forms and can even be manipulated, masked and temporary.
- Love & Connection
- To Grow
- To Contribute
The first four are the needs of your personality and the last two are the needs of your spirit. All six are important to be aware of when it comes to understanding your happiness whether short lived or long lived.
Is Happiness An Illusion
Is it a result of activities, a fleeting moment or a state of grounded understanding of being in a zero state?
I believe allowing your emotional state (happiness) to be influenced based on external actions, people or experiences to be much like spinning plates. You’ll never be at rest and something outside of yourself will always have power over you and how you feel. This is Phase 1 living.
As Wayne Dyer points out in the book Real Magic, people live their lives in 1 of 3 phases:
- Living by Suffering-Living like a ping pong ball in a wind tunnel, feeling like a victim of every situation that comes along. You feel you’re powerless to create the result you really desire.
- Living by Outcome-Living with expectation of reaching a goal or obtaining a certain thing or feeling. It’s healthier than phase 1 but still your happiness is dictated by the result of an exterior event, result or situations where if you don’t get it you feel discontent.
- Living on Purpose-Living in flow where life seems effortless because you’re grounded in self & peace, outside situations don’t dictate your sense of self worth. This phase is like emotional and spiritual Akido.
Masking Your Happiness
Much like I’ve been talking about lately in my past posts on Shadow Work, in order to truly embrace happiness you must unmask what makes you unhappy.
You must face what bothers you most in order to find what empowers you and those around you the most.
“There is a gift in all emotions.”-Debbie Ford
I can only tell you how powerful this has been in my life lately. I consider myself a pretty happy person generally speaking, however I have my human moments as well and I’m OK with it. There is always an opposite of happiness going on in you, it’s a matter of if you embrace it when it happens and don’t judge yourself.
This is the dark part of you that must be embraced so you don’t walk around with a mask of happiness on all the time. It’s healthy I’m finding out to embrace all the parts of me. Pretending you’re positive when truly we all have the ability to be impatient, pissy and short tempered is a mask you can’t afford to wear. It takes a lot of energy to wear the mask of happiness when you really aren’t.
As crazy as it sounds there are gifts in being impatient, pissy and short tempered. There are moments when these emotions can actually serve you and your happiness. Sounds crazy I know. Have you ever been in a situation where getting something done and taking action was spurred because you got pissed that it wasn’t done yet? Or you were impatient about something and you found a creative way to get the end result you wanted? These emotions served you.
I really enjoyed the read on Boredom’s Gifts which is a guest post from my friend Evan. It points to the message I’m conveying here.
Even if these emotions seemed negative they serve you. However you may have found yourself living in phase 2.
Shine your light on that part of you which you find your resisting in yourself or others and you’ll be amazed as to what you will find within yourself in the way of tools & gifts that have never been used. These could be the stepping stones to finding yourself living in phase 3. The tools are gifts and you can use those gifts to live a life of phase 3 but only if you embrace them.
This is where growing (5) is important and finding yourself contributing (6) your gifts to others leads to a deep sense of happiness & fulfillment.
I see people every week in my day business and it’s so blatantly obvious the masks they wear. I say that not in judgment but in observation.
Because I know how many years I’ve walked around pretending (unconsciously) there was nothing wrong with me. Projecting I was strong and that only weak people did certain things that I judged as weak. I was projecting my weakness on them. They were mirroring what I most disliked about myself.
How could I possibly be truly happy on a deep fulfilling level, feeling I was so significant (3) to everyone around me? I was living in serious judgment of others. It was a mask and it took a lot of energy to wear it all the time. (My friend Albert at UrbanMonk.net covers The Judging Mind in detail and provides a great read on Attachments and Aversions)
Staying Grounded in Self
Staying grounded in self requires a love for yourself that is paramount.
I’ve often, based on my past experiences, looked for love outside of myself seeking love & connection. However this is what I’ve found.
If you spend all of your time seeking love and connection instead of giving love, you’ll find it a road much traveled with few people ever really finding their destination. Know that seeking love and connection (4) outside of yourself leads to a rocky road. It has you living in outcome.
I found myself seeking validation of self in others for many years.
There was a certainty (1) I could count on. I knew when I engaged in a relationship where sex was involved I would be able to validate my self worth based on the sex. It was something outside of myself and I found myself living in outcome. Even though on the outside I seemed to have it all together financially and physically, on the inside I was like a child seeking love and connection. My happiness was dependent on something outside of myself once again. And when the sex was over, shortly after so was my validation.
When I was a young teen until 22 I found myself living mostly through phase 1. I felt like a victim many times. Unaware of my unconsciousness. I didn’t know what it meant to be grounded in self. It wasn’t until I came across the book Real Magic by Wayne Dyer that I became conscious of the phase I was living in. I went from victim to conscious victim.At least now I was aware of the guidelines.
I started meditation when I was 19 and 20 while performing with the band Cynic. I became aware of self but not of my self worth. Something now I realize was fatal in the years to come but important to the lessons I’m learning today.
Getting caught up in drug use and seeking validation through sex, I was aware but didn’t know why. Today I believe there was an uncertainty (2) I was addicted to. The thrill of the sexual chase or the unknown expectation I had of doing the drugs. Either way it almost killed me twice from drug over doses. I was clearly uncertain if I was going to live or die in both cases.
The mask was heavy…very heavy.
Being grounded in self to me today is going inside daily and connecting with that divine part of me that knows my worth. Connecting with the part of me that knows the quality of life I am capable of creating. Creating with purpose and passion are something that come naturally now because of this meeting with the secret inside and experiencing the connection to divinity.
Questions To Ask of Your Happiness
What do you do to find that connection daily?
What area’s of self do you resist that you could embrace in order to grow and contribute?
In many cases are you willing to go the road less traveled in order to grow and provide a contribution of your new found insights & gifts?
Along the way happiness has been fleeting and never constant on my behalf. I thought that was a problem and judged myself for it. Our human dynamics make this journey so very interesting and uncertain at times. Now I find happiness in enjoying the journey and embracing all moments of it.
- Taking Responsibility
- Having Daily Internal Dialogue
- Becoming Aware of Your Choices
- Honoring yourself Daily
- Leads to Fulfillment of Vision
All in all do you really find happiness? Or is it something of a result that you find in an experience?
Happiness is but one experience in the totality of experiences which make up this journey. Embrace all aspects of your emotions so that when you experience Happiness you truly experience it.
I know the joy and meaning behind embracing all of my emotional experiences have taken a whole new meaning. I realize now it’s OK that happiness isn’t constant. It’s to be experienced in the totality of emotions and appreciated when it’s visiting.
As I Quoted Seth Godin in a comment to my good friend Evan over at Well Being and Health:
- Reacting is easiest
- Responding is a little harder
- To initiate is completely difficult
I’d love to hear your feedback on Finding Happiness. Show me you’re alive. 🙂