I wish I could say that happiness is something that I found at an early age. I wish I could say that is the case for many people. Because despite believing that we are all born with the capacity to feel love and joy in it’s fullest capacity. Unfortunately many of us are conditioned not to experience it.
Many of the people who raised us, were simply trying to get by the best they could. They may have embraced being a parent, or they may have found the whole experience to be overwhelming. I suspect for many, they felt they were in over their heads and it’s not surprising, when their parents too probably faced the same feelings.
It’s difficult to teach something as big and important as happiness, unless you feel it yourself. Our parents are often well meaning, wanting the best education and jobs for us. Often buying into the belief that more money equals more happiness. However, if that is the case. Why is it that some of the poorest nations, seem so much more happy than the developed world?
Happiness is a habit
The good news is that happiness, doesn’t have to stay elusive to us. Over many years, we become conditioned to question and criticise ourselves. To put less value on the things we achieve or the things around us. We are taught to be always be thinking of what comes in the future or that the past brought us happier days. We lose the ability to focus on the present.
Finding happiness, isn’t about the search outside of us. It’s about removing each layer of conditioning, one by one. Each day seeing a little more beauty in the world. Each day taking one more moment to stay present and to put aside our fears and worries. To begin with, this takes new habits. It starts with seeking out and acknowledging what there is to be grateful for. It’s recognising how our choices are driven by the fear of the future. Or by understanding that happiness and love are already within us.
Happiness is about finding new ways to remember who we were born to be. It’s taking each layer of conditioning, of self criticism, of doubts, of fears, off one by one. It’s about returning and remembering who we are. To start with this takes new habits. It takes conscience effort to try something new. It takes the ability to recognise when we are acting out of fear.
Beginning to live authentically
When we do this, we return to who we really are. We begin to step outside of our comfort zones, without the fear of others judging us. We stop judging ourselves and allow our true, inner, authentic self to shine through. This is when happiness no longer is a habit but part of who we are. It is when we start seeing the wonder and delight in everything around us.
Begin today by taking a moment to remember what makes you feel joy. Close your eyes and feel it within your heart. Notice the wonder and gifts around you, no matter how small they are. You can change your passwords or screensaver on your phone to something uplifting and positive. Or you could simply begin to smile at yourself every time you see your reflection in the mirror. Whatever steps you take, know that you are making positive ripples into your future.