Come on Get Happy…

Can we affect our happiness?  Is our happiness a predetermined gift or a curse?  What if I don’t want to be happy?  What if I want more happiness in my life?  Do I have any control in this?  What are my options?

This seems a relevant and genuine topic to consider.  How many people do we encounter every day that are just plain miserable, people who come across as angry, frustrated, or even pissy.  Ok, pissy may not be a real word, but it’s extremely descriptive so just go with it for a minute.  They’re not hard to notice as they bring forth so much negativity and wrath in their wake.  Most kind folks will do just about anything to avoid their company.  Dark clouds actually hover over them spreading bad karma to those who enjoin their presence.

Others seem to prosper on positive emotions that pour out upon others and enhance the soundings of all they encounter.  Very little can be done to change their being, they emote happiness and it certainly is contagious.  Is this a result of an outlook or a physical make-up?  The well of encouragement never seems to run dry for these charming benefactors.  The draw to them resembles moths at night dancing to the glows of a light bulb.  They are irresistible.

The third group we encounter seems to be comprised of miserable individuals who put on a front of happiness.  After only a brief encounter the deception is revealed to be less than genuine and one notices the horror behind the mask.  They want to be happy, they think being happy is a better way to live, yet happiness seems to elude them and leave them emotionally barren.  Seeing what they want in others reeking of joy makes them envious for what they know they can’t have, so they pretend.

It’s seems obvious that forcing a good feeling doesn’t create anything good but almost seems to have the opposite effect.  Trying to shove a self-created existence into a non-permeable layer might just be futile.  This actually is a lazy effort some folks use to bring about change in their unhappy lives.  Taking what one thinks is right and pretending it’s belongs to you never is a good fit. This seems to be the root cause of much of the crazy that flows in our society.  Insanity grows as the goal of happiness is not achieved through artificial playacting and the deepening sadness only fosters.

Change must be an inside job as that is the only place where true happiness actually resides.  The old adage of “fake it till you feel it” only delays the inevitable of misery becoming the reality of ones existence.  Alcoholics can stop drinking but until they change the root behavior of what led them to drink, they are nothing but sober assholes that are twice the challenge they were before they quit drinking.  Each of us must look honestly at ourselves without the gentle reassuring thoughts of “we’re ok.”  We’re not ok and we need drastic change, otherwise we wouldn’t even be having these random thoughts of improving our happiness.

I feel the most pain for those caught in the fundamentalist church trap.  Please, before I’m judged as a heretic, hear me out.  People who faithfully go to church and are told, just pray and God will give you the desires of your heart.  Never are they told to take responsibility for their actions, never are they told that pain and painful experiences are healthy and can lead to greater depth and growth of the individual.  Just pray and God will set you free.  I respectfully disagree.  God gives us the means to do the work but the actual effort, well, the work belongs only to us.  Like the cowboy preacher character in the movie Unforgiven, who wisely said, “Faith without sweat isn’t worth spit.”  With that insightful thought in mind, is it any wonder there are so many unhappy people in church these days?  Knowing they should be happy, expecting God to just miraculously make them happy, and yet still choosing to do nothing to make happiness happen.

Ok Sunshine, enough on the negative aspects of happiness, what about the positive already? 

Growth in understanding creates awareness.  Greater awareness leads to greater contentment.  Greater contentment leads to happiness.  Greater happiness leads to finding ones true place in life.  Not needing others to make emotions more positive, not needing things or accomplishments to bring greater positive feelings, this is contentment.  Awareness that our actions are done because they’re the right thing to do versus performing activities to get or avoid something brings wholeness to a soul.  Contentment means taking the emotions as they are and not needing to enhance or numb these to make them more palatable, as everything in life is not a day at Disney World.  Reality is a bitch, but, reality is ours to embrace.  Acquiring a vantage point with a clear view of the present and not feeling the need to make any changes or adjustments and just hugging it as your own is the epicenter of happiness.

Can we get more happiness in our lives?  Yes.  Is it real work and effort?  Yes.  Is it a lifelong struggle to attain?  Yes.  Are there any shortcuts?  No.

If one seeks greater happiness in their life.  Consider working on gaining a better perspective on reality.  It’s only by taking today by the hand and walking into the sunset can one get a healthy perspective on life.  Take the path of greater resistance instead of the well worn trail of simplicity to find the land of awareness.  There is the place we all seek to find.  It doesn’t take a map needing interpretation, it just takes a heart that wants more and will stop at nothing to attain it.

Enjoy the ride.

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