“Joy is truly the greatest threat to the separated self, for it comes from union.” A Course of Love
“I just want you to be happy.”
Isn’t that what we tell those we love? Isn’t that what we tell ourselves? That we just want to be happy?
And yet, when circumstances conform to our liking, we feel satisfaction, however briefly. But happiness? No.
What usually happens is we feel a moment of “I love my life!” followed by, “now how can I hold onto it?”
And that’s the beginning of the end. The mind of the separated self, the ego, the part of us that lives in survival, is trying to grasp and cling to a moment in time out of fear of letting go. But it’s just a moment. And every moment passes. So before we ever really allow ourselves to feel the pleasure, we jump to the pain. As if by doing so now, we will avoid future pain.
How can I hold onto to this? What if something bad happens? I shouldn’t be too happy, or I’ll be disappointed. All of these thoughts are the way we rob ourselves of the present moment of experience.
And the paradox is it’s not really the circumstances, anyway, that make you happy. The real reason you feel any pleasure at all is because you decided you could be happy now.
But what if you decided that in every moment? What if even while you were at a job you didn’t like, or in the relationship that was less than ideal, or not as healthy as you’d like to be? What if in the midst of ALL that, you still gave yourself permission to be happy?
Chances are your mind would argue for all that reasons you shouldn’t be joyful. It would tell you all the conditions that would have to be met in order for you to “feel” happiness.
Now, I’m not saying this isn’t a challenge. I, like you, find it easier to feel good when things are going my way. I also find my mind jumping into the future moment of “I don’t want this to end”. It’s like imagining yourself leaving vacation just as you arrive. The moment is missed.
And, yet, it’s our joining with the moment itself that brings us the peace, the contentment, the joy, and, yes, the happiness. Why? Because in the moment we are truly with ourselves – real and imperfect- and approving of ourselves in that moment, we feel happy. We’ve connected to the love inside.
And lo’ and behold, we feel happy.
Happiness doesn’t come from circumstances coming to us. Though they can feel good, circumstances, themselves, are fleeting. It comes from connecting to our Spirit through acceptance and approval for ourselves right where we are. This is what love is. And this is the only place true happiness can be found. Because happiness comes from Love.
So how to do you “let” yourself be happy?
- You acknowledge where you are emotionally and the circumstances in your life right now. Admit them with honesty, and accept your feelings in the moment – whatever they may be.
- You remind yourself, “no matter what is going on in my life, I approve of myself right now. I am still worthy of love.” This is unconditional love, and it comes from the Higher Place within you.
- You allow yourself to receive that love by daring to believe it, if even for a moment. This may bring up feelings of vulnerability and tears.
- Say, “Thank you. I love me. I accept me. I approve of me right where I am.” And notice what that does to your heart and your level of happiness.
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