Our Upset and Misery
It can seem ridiculous to be told that happiness is an inside job when all we want to do is rip someone’s head off or even claw someone’s eyes out! When we are sad or angry, happiness is the last thing on our mind, and to be told
that we can choose to be happy can make us feel even less complete than we already feel.
It can force us into being fake and dishonest with ourselves which is extremely harmful and can lead to many illnesses. Throughout Facebook we see positive postings about attitude, but often those positive aspirations are a million miles away from our internal reality.
The myth about books and Willing ourself into Positivity
I remember reading books like the ” New Earth” by Eckart Tolle, and still not know how to let go of my pain! It seemed so easy in his writing , but in practice, where I was falling into a depression, my heart could not fake happiness. The cloud over my head was way too thick to shift.
I had left my career behind, watched my sister’s physical reality radically change, and then voluntarily witnessed the rug be pulled out from under my feet by emigrating to Canada.
No amount of consoling, reading, teaching was enough to put me into happiness, and if anything it was irritating to hear that it was just an inside job! I had no idea on what to do with my real emotions.
ALL emotions are real
Yes, happiness is a choice. A choice to move on. A choice to forgive, forget and get on with our life. But what happens to those other emotions, like sadness and grief, frustration and confusion, that feel more real in the moment?
Take for example: your girlfriend has just dumped you, and if someone tries to tell you to rise above it and be happy, you will be forced to suppress your true disappointment and upset. The world of happiness will feel like a lie to you.
Take another example: your husband or wife has just sworn at you with disdain, and you just want to punch out his/her lights in revenge. What are you supposed to do with the anger, if only happiness is a choice?
Or you have lost someone or something and are now in such deep sadness and grief, that you cannot force a smile! How then do you access happiness?
These are realities that cannot be willed away just because your mind has read that happiness is an inside job. The mind that has drawn conclusions of misery can’t push itself into another direction- the polar opposite, and expect to stay there….it will forever stay stuck swinging from one to the other! No sustainable happiness can arise.
So how does misery link in with happiness?
The truth is that misery is our first basic stepping stone towards attaining true happiness. The pit of misery can be so deep, suddenly a fuel for a renewed motivation to get out of the hell hole arises. This requires accessing some degree of wisdom, but all of us are capable in this way.
This motivation comes from within, with a deep desperation for something to radically change. It comes with an acknowledgment that something in our own personality has to change. A humbling knowing that we have not got it all figured out!
They say, when you are willing, the rest unfolds around you, and I have seen over and over that this seems to be true.
The mind is just a mechanism
The mind might try to kid us that it has switched to being happy, but this is like the dog chasing its own tail. In a real sense, the mind doesn’t and cannot change our personality inside out, because it only knows how to simply swing from one perspective at one end to the other perspective at the other end.
It is a mechanism and those are its parameters and how it functions.
Take for example, when I realized that money, responsibility and efficiency was not the answer to true happiness. Well when my mind drew these conclusions it tried to shun money and work, as if they were the enemy and it tried to canvass other solutions by putting them on a higher pedestal.
Everything that represented the opposite was glorified by my mind. I had just swung the other way! I remember recalling a time when I did not even want to open the mail, I was so upset that all my efficiency had not offered me true happiness.
Real change requires courage and calls for our behaviour to change
When we eventually realize that the minds swing in the opposite direction, is still not giving us the jewels we seek, we begin to understand that our misery is our clue.
We begin to realize that unless self -awareness comes in (i.e. we learn something about how we behave, how we interact with others, how we think, how we conclude, how we limit ourselves, how we judge ourselves and so much more), nothing new can arise.
Nothing meaningful and truly positive will change for us, unless we are willing to do the real work of internal change. And for self awareness to arise, the truth is that all that misery has to be honoured and acknowledged honestly first.
The happiness we seek comes from going through the pain, and not by avoiding it. With every sad moment, or angry moment re-visited, we have a chance to understand what that emotion is trying to tell us. Sometimes it is a karmic lesson that we are facing.
Sometimes it is a lesson asking us to embrace our power. At other times, it is a lesson that is asking us to humble ourselves. Whatever it is, unless we see the lesson behind the emotion with understanding, the happiness that we seek cannot be ours. It simply alludes us.
The magic of courage to face ourselves
When we surrender to the idea that we have to face each cloud of adversity that keeps playing its terrible tune in our head, true happiness is now within our reach.
When we recognize that layer by layer, we need to be honest with ourself and look to learn our lessons, our creativity begins to flourish spontaneously. We have to be willing to see our anger, our insecurities, our ideas of self worth, our expectations, our comparisons, our misuse of power, our tears and so much more.
With this exploration, our creativity begins to explode to invite true happiness into our world: the sort that does surface from inside out, and this time it has cut the chains of dependency with outside circumstances.
Happiness becomes an inside job- but only because we were brave to look at our own faces. Not many people choose to do this, but those that do, accept everything, the good and bad, the dark and light, hate and love, unhappiness and happiness, life and death.
They do not preach one over the other. They do not call for positivity over negativity. They ask you only to explore yourself and learn how to step out of the duality of the mind.
The new world of peace is in our hands
Our inner state has the strength to be able to sustain and contain the happiness and expansion that pretty much everyone wants within this planet.
We all want, calmer, more peaceful and love filled homes and workplaces. We all want connection, heart centered encounters and true warmth around us. This can’t happen on mass. It can only happen one individual at a time, and only when we have learnt our lessons.
Happiness can suddenly be in our hands, but only because we were courageous enough to delve into the dark corners of our misery and understand it. In the end the misery only came to help us to heal into consciousness and find our centre.
This is the purpose of life, and everything is designed to help us to evolve as human beings to discover our truth.
So when you next get told that happiness is a choice, seek out practical ways to dissolve and transform the other real emotions first and accept that happiness from inside out will be the by product of your sincere efforts of self exploration.
Skipping this step is talking about a false reality, and will only delay our ultimate progress and bliss.