10 Myths About Happiness

AUDIO VERSION:  (Transcript below for those who prefer to read)

 

happiness

Everyone is in search of the key to being happy in Life.  It’s the state that people are looking for yet, find so hard to grasp.

Why is it so elusive?  Why is there a continual search for it?  Why can’t we all find it?

There are a few common myths about being happy that all of us as human beings need to know and remember in order to feel happier.

Happiness is not the absence of negative emotions.

Contrary to popular belief, seeking out total bliss, all of the time, is not true happiness.  Everyone, including the happiest of the happy of society, will experience fear, anxiety, stress, sadness, loss, grief, down feelings and so much more.  Negative emotions are every bit as much a part of everyone’s human experience as anyone else.

Not every moment will be a happy moment.

Happiness does not mean that every moment of our lives will be free from troublesome issues.  We will all have problems to deal with, losses as well as our fair shares of upsets. We can’t always be feeling on top of the world or in this case, happy.  We also have to go through moments of feeling…well…crappy.

Being a human being in a physical body means experiencing hard times.

No one on this planet will escape the misery of a cold or a sore throat or even a sprain, strain or not being able to taste our food.  Viruses, illnesses and generally, anything going wrong with the physical body will also affect our minds.  That means that every one of us will experience a physical discomfort for extended periods of time.  Being happy doesn’t mean that we’re always in a great mood.  Accept that we’re all going to feel poorly at times.

Everyone will have their feelings hurt by something or someone.

That’s a huge myth that happy people are lucky and never have to experience heartache, heartbreak, rejection or any number of other emotions that we all have to face in Life.  It’s inevitable that we’re going to have to deal with those types of emotions, feelings and thinking.  No one walks through Life, unscathed by these types of occurrences.

If I’m a good person, always doing good for others, I will be happy.

Myth busted.  You can do all of the good that you want to do and do it for everyone you know.  Guess what?  You’re always going to have someone who will put that pin in that bubble.  As a matter of fact, it can work to your disadvantage to always be nice.  People will look upon you as a doormat.  Doormats aren’t generally happy people so, always being “the good guy” doesn’t equate to being happy all of the time.

Surrounding myself with all of the material things that I want will net me happiness.

Ever read or watch the news where you see a celebrity who has more money that you and I and 10 others put together will ever have and, they are surrounded by luxury cars, homes, “yes people” and can travel wherever they want to go but, they still seem unhappy?  That’s because no amount of material things can buy us happiness no matter how much of it we amass.  It may buy us a bit of happiness for a small amount of time but eventually, it also becomes old and boring.  Watch a child opening an expensive gift.  Oftentimes, the biggest joy that child can or will have, is the box it came in or, the television show that they want to watch.  It isn’t the material things that bring happiness for more than a bit of time.

If I give up all of my worldly possessions, live in a cave and meditate all day, I’ll be happy.

Will you really be happy if you give away all of your worldly possessions to go dwell in a cave without light, running water, a cell phone, tablet, WiFi, television and everything you’re used to having?  Meditation, while a great stress buster and I wouldn’t attempt to convince people from trying it, is not all that it’s cracked up to be.  Actually, except for those who have been drawn towards living a life like that, most of us ordinary folk would be totally miserable, dwelling in a cave, meditating all day, every day.  We’d be bored to tears and longing for our old life again.

Happiness is something to achieve and until I do, I can only be miserable.  

Have you ever had a delicious cup of coffee on a porch or by water and watched the sunset or sunrise?  What have you felt? Did you feel miserable or content, maybe even happy?  That is happiness.  It’s the culmination of those great moments in time.  It’s not a total state of bliss 100% of the time.  No one can feel happy 24/7 and feeling miserable is going to happen to us all.  Happiness is something we acquire during those moments.  It’s not something to be achieved but, rather something that we more often than not, find simply happens to us during moments like this.

Thinking only positive thoughts will bring me to happiness.

Everyone has listened to the greats who profess to have found the fountain of happiness by thinking positively but, do you really believe that even those gurus only have positive thoughts and are always happy?  Positive thinking constantly is not only impossible but, it’s a sure-fired way to make yourself miserable by trying.  Telling ourselves that we can never think a negative thought or, trying to always only see things as being positive can and will be not only a let-down but, impossible to do.  No one thinks positively all of the time.  Not even the greats can do that.  We are hard-wired towards thinking in all directions according to the circumstances we are in or about to go into.  Try thinking positively if your doctor tells you that you have an incurable disease that will end your life or greatly shorten it.  How positive can you be thinking when you hear the words, “I’m so sorry but, you’re going to die”.  Conversely, think about how miserable you’d feel if you tried to turn that into a positive like, “well, at least I won’t be around to have to pay for my daughter’s wedding.”

Fighting to be happy is what makes one happy.

When we fight something, we’re essentially, constantly pushing, pulling, tugging, trying to control something or someone and all of the negative emotions that come with that type of altercation.  Can we truly be happy when we’re constantly struggling against ourselves, attempting to force ourselves to feel something that we don’t?  I will let you think about that one and come up with your own conclusions but, when we accept that there are things that we can control or do something about while there are others that we can’t, we have peace.  There’s no more fighting, struggling, anxiety, frustration or upheavals going on within us, is there?  What if we were to just relax, accept what we are feeling and going through when we can’t change it and float through it rather than wrestle it to the ground?

Doing all that we can about something within reasonable limitations, knowing that we’re not gods nor, omnipotent and recognizing that it’s time to accept whatever is happening, frees us up to enjoy things that we’d normally not even think about because our minds are on the tug-of-war that we’ve got going on inside of us.

We can believe in benevolent and unseen forces which will come to our aid and sort it all out if we wish to and leave our problems in their hands once we’ve done all that is within our capabilities.  That cup of coffee or watching a movie past our bedtimes with our cat, dog or significant other by our sides will seem a lot more enjoyable.  That’s when we can say that we’re happy.  Happiness doesn’t come from forcing ourselves to be happy.  It comes from acceptance of our situations whether we can better them or not.  It comes from recognizing that whether we can or can’t change things into what we wish or have wished them to be, we can find happiness and, that happiness is not a constant state.  It’s the moments that we have where we feel at peace within our lives and ourselves even when the world around us is crumbling.  Joy is the moments when we’re in the path of least resistance and can enjoy whatever we are doing or who we are with and what we have even if we haven’t got much.

From my little corner of life to yours, none of us know how long we’ll be here on this planet or what lays ahead for us.  It may be beautiful, wonderful and ever peaceful, filled with love and joy or, there may be nothing but, we won’t know the difference.  Either way, we’re going to be ok.

Doesn’t that thought make you happy?  We’re going to be ok.  Stop chasing happiness.  Let it find you.

Be well, Love and Light,

Have a great day or evening.

 

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