What does it take to be truly happy?
Are we born happy or when we're born, are we taught what it means to be happy?
These are the questions I pondered in my own search for happiness and I've come to understand that we are all born happy. It wasn't until someone took it upon themselves to teach us what happiness means that we even knew we had a choice to be unhappy!
If happiness is a choice, why would anyone choose to be unhappy? The answer is; we choose to be unhappy because someone taught us that true happiness can only be found from an external source.
As children, we're not taught the meaning of happiness in specific words; we can sense the feelings and emotions from others. We knew when our parents or caregivers were feeling happy and that feeling of happiness created a sense of security and well being in our world. But just as we were able to sense feelings of happiness, we also sensed the feelings of unhappiness.
The true nature of who we are yearns for the happiness we were born with so we learn, at a very early age, to navigate the emotional ups and downs of those around us and at some point, we created a belief that this is what it takes to be happy.
As you got older, you held onto your beliefs and continue the practice of navigating the emotional ups and downs of others to get what you want. This practice takes on many forms such as putting yourself last while you make sure the needs of others are met before your own. You've created a belief that the only way to be happy is by making others happy.
The flaw in this belief is understanding that no one has power over another person.
The only power you possess are the thoughts you think and the choices you make. If you choose to continually put the needs of someone else over your own needs, and that person is having a bad day, week, month, year or several years, you are literally putting our life on hold until someone else chooses to be happy. You believe you're being loving and supportive only because you've been conditioned from a very early age that your happiness is dependent upon the happiness of others.
But, it isn't!
Happiness is an inside job; it's about learning who you are, your value and how you can be true to yourself. It's about putting your needs and wants ahead of everything and everyone else so your cup is full. Happiness is an emotion, something you feel inside that lights you up. This can only happen when you are loving who you are!
The first step to being happy, is to understand what happiness means to you. Is your definition of happiness the innate happiness you were born with or what someone taught you? Is your definition of happiness conditional (meaning you have to do or have something before you can experience being happy).
The second step is to WANT to be happy. This may sound easy but when you've had years of choosing to be unhappy, it shows that you've created a belief that being unhappy is part of life. It doesn't occur to you that being unhappy is actually a choice!
The third step is to get very clear about what you believe is causing you to be unhappy as well as what you believe will bring you happiness. Make a list and once you've finished, look over your list and cross out everything that is conditional. Examples of conditional happiness are: someone else has to do or say something before you can allow yourself to be happy, a purchase (either large or small), changing something about the way you look, a bigger bank account, leaving your significant other, finding the perfect romance, travel, changing your job or location and anything that requires that you receive something before choose to be happy. Once you've done this, you'll be left with the things you can easily see are within your grasp this very moment.
The good news is, when you choose happiness as your way of being, you also create a feeling of abundance and prosperity that's so powerful, you can't help but attract experiences of abundance and prosperity.
Once you've identified where you are in these three steps, if you really want to be happy, you'll move heaven and earth to make it happen. You'll find yourself smiling more, you'll stop blaming other people, experiences or conditions as a reason to be unhappy.
What are your limiting beliefs? Which of your beliefs are causing you to choose to be unhappy? Only you can decide when you're ready to master your beliefs and free your mind to embrace the happiness you were born with. Who taught you the definition of happiness? Is that person still around? Do you see evidence of happiness in everything that person says or does? If not, why would you choose to follow their example of what it means to be happy?
Happiness comes from inspired thought, not from action taken. The more inspired your thoughts are, the happier your choices will be.
Being unhappy is not real, it's a manifestation based on your belief about what you deserve. Being happy is not only something you deserve, it's an innate gift you were born with.
Remind yourself that life is all about choices; you can choose to be happy just as you can choose to be unhappy. If you are unhappy more than you're happy, you've merely created a habit of being unhappy based on your beliefs.
When you're ready, make the decision to be happy. Smile more, judge less (yourself and others), sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching, laugh more, be grateful, and be open to letting go of the people and experiences that try to rob you of feeling happy.
Have fun discovering your own definition of happiness and stop allowing what others think or say about you. When others can't see your value it's usually because they're shielding their eyes from the light that is shining so brightly within you.
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei
Nancy Mueller ~ Life Sensei