Finding Happiness Within Yourself
2015 was a terrible year for me. Anything that could go wrong, did; from very minor things to very major things. Some things seemed to go wrong simply for the sake of going wrong. In fact, whenever I think back to that year, the sentence that comes to mind is: “That year tried to kill me!”. I know that sounds ridiculous. How can a year try to kill someone? Yeah, it can’t happen right? No, it can’t. However, the events of that year tested my will, strength and spirit so often that following an incident that I felt was “the last straw“, I really tried to end it all. Obviously I survived it, but my life changed forever.
Fast forward to 2018. I am here on planet Earth in physical form and everyday is not a good day. In the past three years, plenty of things have gone wrong. Some of those things were happenstance and many of them were entirely my fault. I’ve always taken responsibility for my own indiscretions; some of which have been redundant. I’ve often questioned myself as to why I choose to repeat certain behaviors or actions that have proven themselves to be self destructive (at most). My answer was always “because I’m unhappy”.
If you know me personally and have spent time around me- or even if you only know me from social media, you know that I am almost always laughing, joking, and smiling. But I’ve spent a lot of time being unhappy, even when I’m seemingly elated. If you’ve never worn that mask, you cannot know how tiring it is to live that double life. So, I asked myself a different set of questions: What would make you happy? What makes anybody happy? Are there happy people? Well… first, let’s define “happy“.
According to Webster Dictionary:
Happy: feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
In my opinion, happiness is also a feeling of fulfillment. In fact, since I don’t like the word “contentment” (sounds too much like settling) lets replace it with “fulfillment”. So, what makes a person feel pleasure and fulfillment?
That would depend on what a person want’s out of life. Most people believe that money will do it. If you hit the $250 million dollar jackpot, would you really be happy? An even better question; would you really be happier than you are right now? Probably not. And if so, not for long.
Of course money offers security and less worries about financial issues when used correctly. It can also afford you some of life’s luxuries — but it cannot improve the quality of your life if you do not value your life in its present tense. Affluent people are not always happy. They suffer from some of the same issues that us regular people have. A monetary issue cannot be the sole source of your unhappiness. If you do some soul searching you might find that personal happiness is already inside of you, but it is you who keeps burying it with worry.
Why Are You Robbing Yourself?
Most of the time our problems are merely the results of our own bad decisions. If you are alive to read this, no matter how bad the situation may be, you can do something about it.
1. Is It Something From The Past That You Can’t Forgive Yourself For?
If so, then don’t waste time trying to forgive yourself! I made it a rule to never make apologies to myself but only to those that I have offended. Instead of forgiving myself, I take the lesson and move forward with it. That is much more valuable than a self apology. Growth comes with all lessons and we all need to grow for as long as we are alive. So let it go, but keep the lesson.
2. Are You Not Doing Your Best At Everything That You Do?
You are not going to be an expert at everything that you try — And that is the good news, my friends! If everyone was an expert at everything then we wouldn’t need one another, and it would be a lonely life. What matters is that you always give your personal best and don’t be afraid to fail, because you most definitely are going to fail!And that too is good news! Some of life’s most important lessons are learned through failure. Use your strongest skills to give to your family and community. Doing for others and making a difference will provide happiness that is immeasurable. Even when you are at your lowest, give if you can. Never do things for recognition. If your deeds are acknowledged, awesome! If not, you did it from your heart and the universe will recognize that. You never know, it could be a test.
3. Is A Bad Relationship Bringing You Down?
If doesn’t matter if it is a friendship, familial, romantic, or even a business relationship. If it is not making you feel like giving the world your best “You” — you don’t need it. Smiles show on the outside, but they start on the inside. The people that you choose to have around you should provide that for you, and you for them. Life won’t be a field of sunflowers everyday in your personal relationships but the bond needs to be strong enough to assure you that the storm will indeed pass and soon it will be sunshine and sunflowers again. Are you getting as much as you are giving? Are you afraid to make a change? Sometimes taking self inventory is a very hard thing to do, but it is necessary for growth and happiness. Maybe you won’t need to end relationships but change their positions. I was talking to my Aunt Lee once about a friendship that I was in that suddenly changed, and she asked me, “Is he/she your best friend for 20 years, or was he/she your best friend 20 years ago?”. When someone is not bringing out the best in you, it’s time to either make omissions or rearrange the ranking of the relationship.
4. Love: Are You Getting It/Giving It?
One area of my life that I have always felt as though I am the luckiest person in the world is in the love department. I have always been surrounded by people who love me. They might not always like me, but I know that they love me. I can only pray that I can love them all back as aggressively. I don’t know what it is like to feel unloved, but I know what it is like to feel unlovable.
If you are blessed enough to have people who love you in your life, reach out to them when you are feeling down. You don’t have to tell them what is going on with you if you choose not to. Hearing that the people you love are doing well could aid in lifting your spirits. It might also give you some ideas about what you would like to do with your life. Or it could simply reassure you that being happy is still possible — even for you!
For those who are short on family or friends, you still have love to give. Go out and do something for a stranger. You could also take a class or join a club; these are all things that can give you a feeling of accomplishment and ultimately happiness!
5. Get The Chip Off of Your Shoulder!
Okay, okay, okay!!! So life is hard sometime. In fact, sometimes it just plain SUCKS! We’ve all been there once or twice. That is no reason to wear a permanent scowl and spread your bitterness. Positive energy can change anything. If you throw positive energy into the universe, it will return that energy to you. If the world is afraid to approach you because you decide to wear your wounds, then you will be miserable. Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it (I hate platitudes, but that one fit). Wearing your wounds and dwelling on what is wrong will only guarantee you more misery that you will likely suffer through alone, so don’t alienate yourself! However, if things are so bad that you cannot fake it through the day, take some personal time to work things out at your own pace. If necessary, seek professional help.
6. There Is No Microwave Approach To Happiness
Beware of “instant happiness” for it will leave you as suddenly as it comes. New cars get old, the latest wireless devices are upgraded on a yearly basis, new clothes are only new until you wear them. I could go on and on… Take your time and dig deeply into your heart and psyche and find what makes you smile on the inside. Focus on that! Whatever it is, it should not be something that you can physically touch or even describe. Find the thing inside of you that is holding your happiness hostage and free yourself of it. Then you will exude happiness. Others will feel it simply because you are there.
Us humans vibrate 24–7/365. If we all vibrate toward positivity, it can be a happy life for us all!
And to answer my own questions:
What would make me happy? As I evolve, so will the things that make me happy. I send and receive love. As long as that is a constant, I am happy.
What makes anybody happy? That’s up to them.
Are there happy people? Yes, there are!