Unconditional Happiness - A Paradigm Shift
Happiness, the emotion desired by everyone, is elusive for many, and can be difficult to attain in any consistent manner because most of us choose Conditional Happiness.
The Harris Poll, which has been conducting a happiness survey for the last nine years, surveyed 2,202 Americans ages 18 and older. In May 2017, 33% of Americans surveyed said they were happy. In 2016, just 31% of Americans reported the same. That's only a third of the population!
Why do we find it difficult or challenging to be happy? One of the reasons is we have a tendency to believe that when conditions are right - whatever that may be - then we will be happy. I call this "Conditional Happiness." Conditional happiness is the basis for so much unhappiness.
Conditional Happiness means "I'll be happy when . . . I make more money, or when I fall in love with that special someone. Maybe for you it's I'll be happy when he/she are nice to me, when I get a new house, or when I loose weight. For others it's I'll be happy when I retire, when I'm healthier, when I have more freedom, then I'll be happy.
Conditional happiness means I'll be happy when the conditions are just right. Over time we've been conditioned to think we achieve happiness only through our exterior world. When the outside world is as we would like it to be, then happiness will come.
Conditional happiness depends then on our ability to control the outside world. There lies the false paradigm. When we think we need to control things in order to be happy, we create more difficulties for ourselves. Because in trying to control conditions we get ourselves stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. We cause ourselves to feel inadequate, insecure and unworthy at our inability to control conditions to make them what we want them to be. We can't control conditions. What we can control is how we feel.
Here's the good news, there is a solution. Unconditional happiness! You see we've had it backwards. We've focused our thoughts on trying to control conditions to create happiness. In our focus and attention to the condition, we're focused on what's not working; we generate energy around what's not working, which keeps it active and bring more of it into our experience.
What I've come to learn is that being happy is where it all begins. I know, I know, you're probably saying, "C'mon Darlene, no one is happy all the time, and stuff happens." You're right! We're not happy all the time and stuff happens. Things happen that make us feel bad. How long we choose to stay there though, is a choice. How long we choose to suffer, is a choice. We don't want to feel bad. If we allow ourselves to, we can choose to feel better.
When we start with focusing on what makes us feel good, what brings joy into our lives, what we appreciate and are grateful for, we are generating an energy of happiness around us, which will then attract more of it into our lives.
When we come from a place of feeling good, we are empowering ourselves to create more good in our lives. When we come from a place of feeling good, the good things we want will come to us because we're a match to that same energy. When we focus on feeling good we open the pathway for the perfect person to show up, for the raise to come our way, for the good health we seek, for the fit body, the great idea, for happier relationships.
Being happy is an inside job. It starts with making the decision to be happy. You may say, "But I have this problem," or "I'm in this situation that just isn't working. How can I be happy when that's what's going on in my life?" Understood! I'm not saying,"Put on your rose colored glasses and pretend." Well, not really. Yes, those things may be your experience, but there's always something to be grateful for, something to appreciate.
When you shift your thoughts to what you are grateful for, or what you appreciate, it makes you feel better, happier. In that feeling place, you create an energy to attract more happiness.
Life will always have it's up and downs, but if we focus on what's good and what we do want instead of what we don't want, the lows won't be so low, and the highs are maintained much longer. We become better at handling the things we would like to change. We get inspired, solutions come easier, things have a way of falling in to place. Good things happen more often because we're a match to them.
Let's reverse the paradigm of thinking that says when my outside world is what I want, then I'll be happy, to - I choose to be appreciative, to be grateful, to look for the good things in life, to be happy, and when I do this, my outside world will be filled with situations, circumstances that create more happiness!
Try it! What's the worst that can happen? You're happier in the process?
Let's choose to be happy and empower ourselves to create the life we want.
With love and light.