Happiness, how and why I am practicing choosing it over being right.
In recent days and months and over a span of years now I’ve been in a conflict between two goals. One goal is wanting to make a difference in the world reducing the unnecessary suffering brought about by political and economic injustices and inequities. The other goal was experiencing more happiness and being a more healthy person who is fulfilling my calling in life and someone who has enough of all I need to live my vision of personal freedom. These two goals were in constant conflict with each other but I was so embroiled in the struggle I couldn’t see that truth. This struggle was blocking my happiness every day. It wasn’t other people creating those blocks to my happiness, it was me.
Trying to convince people on the Internet that my views were right and perhaps theirs were wrong and lead them see things my way, even out of a sincere desire to help them reduce theirs and other people’s suffering was like trying to push on the end of a string. And needing to find a tribe of people who resonated with my thinking to help me feel validated and happy while arguing with or blocking those who didn’t resonate with my thinking became tiresome and unfulfilling. More than that thoug, doing this I become an unhappy and unhealthy person.
I concluded that no well-worded tweet or post no matter how logical, fact-based or persuasive was capable of changing people’s beliefs. It’s a monumental struggle for me to even recognize and change my own beliefs, beliefs that have taken a lifetime for me to come by. Beliefs are stubborn things!
I found that placing my happiness in the hands of other people being able to agree with me or do the things I think they should be doing was a recipe for unhappiness. This was a huge realization and a breakthrough moment for me. I had been devoting hours a day to social media taking in the things and people’s statements and ideas that provoked and upset me the most and earnestly trying to change what I believed to be their wrong thinking. But all of that effort was just me placing the power of my happiness in other people’s hands and having an external focus. Perhaps I and others create an external focus because it seems easier to look at others actions and lives than examine our own and work on creating a life worthy of our true callling.
What I know now and have known for some time, even though I keep forgetting it, is that all I have that I can control is me at this moment right here and now. I can choose my next thought if I want to. I can choose my focus. I can choose thoughts that lead to feelings that I enjoy and create moments of life that add up to that happier more fulfilling life of freedom that I truly want for myself. I can be the screenwriter of my life, the director, and by choosing my focus I can be the camera operator and the editor. I can write and live my own story to live my truth and calling in life! I realize now what I’ve been doing is at best being an extra in other people’s stories and at worst a passive audience member occasionally raising my fist and yelling in frustration at characters on the movie screen. And I now know I have just as much of a chance of changing the minds and actions of people on the Internet by tweeting or posting as a movie audience member has by yelling at the character on the movie screen in a theater or on their TV screen from their couch at home.
And sitting in a layer on top of that realization I just had is the understanding that whatever I give my energy and focus to I empower in my life and amplify in the world. If I give hours a day and years of my life to a struggle against injustice in the world, that struggle will always continue and grow. What I want my life to be about and what I want to see continue and grow is the effort to build something better that solves the problems causing people to suffer unnecessarily in life. I want to see things improve around me for others and for myself, and I know now that the most powerful and effective way to create that is to be involved in making more of the good, the compassion and kindness I want for others to happen in whatever way I can.
As a student and sometime teacher of what people call “The Law Of Attraction” and the practice of purposely creating more happiness, I have embraced the idea that if I want to have things and experiences in my life I need to think and feel as if I already have those things and experiences and that energy or vibration will attract those like energies expressed as new opportunities, relationships and so forth. I know that my energy has a great deal to do with the momentum for good or bad in my own life. But after listening to this brief talk by Abraham Hicks today it became clear to me that all I am doing by seeking happiness by getting the things or experiences I want is again putting my happiness outside of myself and making it dependent on things appearing in my life.
I thought about the saying that happiness comes not from getting what you want but from wanting what you have. But I realized that this type of thinking once more puts my happiness in the external or in my having things. Things can always be taken from me. I can lose things and then where would my happiness be? What can’t be taken away from me, what can’t be lost is me and who I am as a human being. So that is why I am now placing my focus on this question, who am I and what is my life about?
I am a person who loves. I love my family. I love creating and sharing what I create. I love helping others. I love meeting people and hearing their stories. I love. The more I focus on remembering that’s who I am and what I choose my life to be about the more awake and conscious I become and the less I put my happiness in the hands of external things or people. I just need to remember this. My happiness doesn’t depend on people agreeing with me on the internet! My happiness doesn’t depend on the number of likes or followers I have or get or lose. My happiness comes from remembering who I am.
I have heard that happiness is a choice and now I understand this better. It is a matter of being conscious and aware more often by practicing the art of choosing. Do I choose to passively take in the outrage and injustices on the “news” or Internet feeds and keep trying to push on the end of a string? Or do I choose to focus on learning more, sharing more, building more and loving more?
And when I remember who I am, that I am a person who loves, then I will not be threatened or angered by people who disagree with me and think in very different ways than I do. We don’t have to agree and I don’t have to try to fix them or change them. I can notice them and let them go on their way or their own path to living their lives and find their own truth of who they are. Even if I deeply disagree with them or their views offend or anger me I can remain me. I can remain loving and even in my heart wish them well, see the love that’s their essence. Because as Abraham Hicks points out in her talk the “source energy” is love and it doesn’t stop loving us when we are wrong. It is like the Sun, it is always there radiating even in the night when we don’t feel or see it. We see it shining in the Moon at night! We see the evidence of it in the wonderful array of living things around us that are living because of it.
So how do I stop myself from putting my happiness in the external and strengthen my internal resolve to create a healthy, happier, loving life in the here and now? I remind myself that the Sun doesn’t tell the trees and other living things how to grow, it just shines. That’s why I created Happy Cards, our creative positive thank you notes to share moments of compassionate appreciation with people I meet, it helps me remember that I am a loving person who loves connecting with and helping others.
That is why I created our new Inner Peace Wellness Program Affirmations And Incantations For Happiness which is a program I use myself every day to keep my focus on self-compassion. Affirmations don’t change things “out there” in our lives, they change things inside of us! They help us remember who we really are more so than who we want to become. I can also practice mindful deep breathing and meditation every day to strengthen my awareness of when my mind is drifting out of the here and now, and stop putting my fate into the external and I can put my fate and focus on the eternal!