When we ponder what happiness means to us or what we need to make us happy we may think of happiness as a destination, a fixed state we will reach if only….
And the “if only” can be what we believe we must avoid to find happiness, as well as what we must have to find happiness.
Anne LaFleur, founder of The Gift of Happiness, http://www.thegiftofhappiness.org/, explores this subject in her blog below. In her direct way she challenges us to ponder what could make us more content right now. AND, if we can find something to make us smile now, feel more peaceful now, isn’t that also giving ourselves a happier moment?
I thought I was going to write today about all the beliefs related to happiness that can make us unhappy.
“I can’t be happy because my life/the world isn’t how I want it to be.”
“I don’t deserve to be happy, because I’ve done bad things.”
“I don’t want to be happy, because it’s not fair to people who are suffering.”
“If I’m not happy, something must be wrong.”
I was going to invite you to take a look at your beliefs, see whether they make you happy, and if not, consider what beliefs might serve you better.
Maybe it would have been a helpful exercise, but I just couldn’t get myself to finish it. Honestly, I’m sick of paying attention to all of my dysfunctional thoughts. Why would I ask you to listen to yours?
My brain is full of annoying, unfounded, contradictory, self-defeating beliefs, and I don’t think they are ever going to go away. Not only have they been ingrained over decades of my own life, but they are also woven into society itself. These subtle, persistent messages about happiness are modeled all around us.
If my happiness depends on getting rid of every single belief I have that doesn’t serve me, it’s hopeless.
Sometimes it’s better to just ignore the dysfunction and pay attention to something else. So let’s do that instead.
What would you like to think about right now? What would bring a smile to your face, or a breath of relief, or a sense of gratitude, or a feeling of pride? You have the power to focus on those things any time you want, regardless of the beliefs that may be swimming around in your head.
Wishing you many moments of peace in the coming week, even amidst the chaos and contradiction,