“…Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth… Clap along if you know what happiness is to you… Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do.”
Love the song Happy by Pharrell Williams! We dance to it pretty well every morning at our house. You can’t help but feel happy when you dance to that song. Do you know what happiness is to you is also a great question. I used to think I knew but found out it wasn’t true.
The tendency is to look outside of ourselves for happiness. I’ll be happy when I lose 10 lbs. I’ll be happy when I get my next promotion. I’ll be happy when I meet my soulmate. I’ll be happy when I have my dream house or dream car. I’ll be happy when…… We put our happiness on hold, waiting for some future condition or event, until we have something that we don’t currently have. When I was single, I thought that I would be so happy when I got married and had kids. Prior to that, it was achieving my goals that I felt held my happiness. So when I achieved my goals, got married and had children, I was confused about why I still had moments of sadness or feeling lack and still not being good enough.
We tend to look outside of ourselves and put off our happiness into the future instead of understanding that happiness comes from within us. It isn’t dependent on external things or circumstances. We can be happy right now in the present if we choose to be. Committing to being happy and then doing the internal work that will help us get there is the key. It doesn’t mean that we won’t feel other emotions along the way. We absolutely will but the commitment to being happy will pull us forward in spite of feeling “negative” emotions.
What does that look like? If being happy means forgiving a grudge, do it. If it means letting go of always being right, do it. Maybe it means giving up the too high expectations and judgements you have of yourself and others or stopping trying to please everyone and ignoring your own desires. Perhaps happiness is in slowing down and catching your breath or giving up your huge list of household chores for the day and playing full out with your kids/partner/friend instead. Being the first to apologize (that’s a big one for me!) or allowing yourself to fully feel your emotions instead of stuffing them down and ignoring them may create your moments of happiness.
We create our own unhappiness and struggles by holding on to beliefs, thoughts, feelings and habits that are resisting reality. The crazy thing is, these beliefs and thoughts are often not even true and yet they are causing how we feel and how we act or not act as the case may be. I held on to the belief that I wasn’t good enough despite all the great things that were happening in my life. It caused me to feel unworthy, unloveable, unsupported and affected my actions – serial achieving trying to fill that void in me. I had held onto the belief at a subconscious level and it wasn’t until I was aware of it that I was able to change it. Having awareness and accepting what is happening instead of fighting against it is really important. Then you can ask yourself what you can do, what you do have control of to move towards what you want instead.
What can you change or let go of that will increase your happiness today?
and dance it up!