This is a loaded question, I know. As if a person like myself could deliver you a concrete answer; sorry folks, this silly girl sure as hell can’t do that.
Don’t worry. I’m not totally wasting your time.
I can at least craft together some words that might offer you a clear insight to the path of what happiness is and how it can be attained through awareness of self.
Let me start off by saying…
Obviously I haven’t attained this ultimate goal of happiness, though I sometimes have doubts about it, I am only human.
I get mad waves of, “What the fu*$ is happening?!” to, “I’M ON TOP OF THE WORLD!” to, “AH SHIIIII*, I’M FREE-FALLING STRAIGHT DOWN!” You know what I’m talking about, you know you’s a human too.
After getting fed up with feeling like emotions and circumstance were sporadic, I took some time to reflect.
I discovered there is a definite pattern within myself which ignites that authentic flavor of happiness to flood my core:
- When success is achieved after struggle or stress
- Experiencing something new that inspires personal growth
- Being able to make a difference even on a small scale
- Forming authentic friendships
- Learning something new
- Selfless acts
- Being able to provide (whether it’s for myself or others)
- Practicing gratitude
- Integrating into nature
Sweet. Through time and self-research, I now know what I could try to do to bring that taste of fulfillment, light, positivity, sunshine or happiness into my sense of being.
And that’s what’s great about sitting down with yourself and getting to know your happy list.
You can direct your emotions with a higher state of awareness; instead of drowning under their currents, you become able to observe and redirect their flows into constructive channels.
Let’s say you’re feeling down and out, so you take a little looksie inside and ask yourself the following based off of your pretty list: “Am I in a state of struggle right now?”
If yes, then you can now begin to listen to yourself and understand why you may be in a stressed, exasperated or down state.
So you continue, “Okay, I am in a state of struggle right now. But from previous experience, I have learned that after struggle or stress, I typically found happiness when I handled the situation with….”
Now, you might have to reflect again.
What did you have to do in times of struggle/stress to achieve that end result of fulfillment, that happiness?
Sure, there have probably been times of struggle where it was handled poorly. That’s normal. Observe that as well. What was your emotional pattern then?
Perhaps you fed those negative emotions and drowned under their given power rather than charging them into those constructive channels we talked about earlier.
Reflect on it. Make another list. Make two lists. One of which where you describe what you did/felt in order to pass the test of stress VS. what you did/felt that caused you to fail.
You’re probably groaning at all this list-making. All this work. Ha!Ha! That is another interesting thing to observe. Why does working on yourself fill you with those feels?
- Persevering with determination VS. crumbling under pressure
- Using perspective as a tool to build a stronger mindset VS being single-minded and unaware in times of hardship
- Separating your abilities from the struggle to work passed it VS becoming the struggle
- Being calm to work through the stress efficiently VS forgetting to breathe and taking a moment to recollect causing ‘scatter-brain’
- Seeing struggle as a teacher that brings a lesson for stronger character development VS seeing it as a burden, an adversary
- Trusting what’s waiting on the other side and being right about it VS having no faith in your strength to overcome, thus giving up and never seeing the end result
Mangoes VS Apples
To be able to do this takes a great deal of mindfulness (during the time of the emotion) and trust within yourself.
- Trust the struggle will be over because it has once before.
- Trust that stress is a precursor to new knowledge, achievement or success if utilized and controlled properly because that’s happened before.
- Trust what you will be finding on the other side because you found it once before.
You’ve went through this already, it isn’t the first time you experienced struggle or stress and overcame them all, it’s just a new circumstance, but the emotional pattern is exactly the same. (Until you become a straight up master, that is.)
However, maybe you’re not in a state of struggle but you’re still feeling down, off.
Continue to ask yourself questions based off your list, “Have I learned anything new recently to stimulate the mind into productivity?” “Have I experienced something different?” “Have I believed in myself recently?” “Have I been procrastinating?” “Have I given up my dreams for this 9-5?” “Have I gone out in nature?”
What are your answers? From there, you can begin to understand why you are feeling whatever it is you may be feeling and work from there in order to get a deeper understanding of what your emotions are trying to tell you.
Realize Your ‘Self’
Now, we have reflected on what makes us happy, what emotions we experience during times of struggle.
If you feel satisifed with that, feel free to click off this little page and sing the song of joy, my friend.
However, if you dare to venture a little deeper inward, here’s another practice that will help you realize your Self.
Reflect on the moments that didn’t bring you happiness, or perhaps brought nonfulfillment and disappointment within yourself.
Lemme reflect for a sec. You do it too. Think about yourself beyond the surface. That’s very important to do in life. Don’t let those bastards make you think otherwise, darling.
Okay, here’s my list:
- Procrastination brings a sense of nonfulfilment
- Giving up ideas without trying them deteriorates self-belief
- Mistreating the body with unhealthy habits stunts energy/productivity
- Lack of creativity or expression brings boredom/a loose sense of self
- Not researching, learning, reading brings lack of confidence in abilities as well as loneliness in alone time
- Not doing what was set out to be done for the self breaks inner-trust
Have your mental list? Hell, write it down if you want. It’s good to study yourself.
Get to know your person.
Now reflect on how you’ve been feeling lately. Good? Satisfied? Achieved? Upset? Lost? Stressed?
If you’re all good, check your list. Have you been doing all or some of the things you’ve written down or thought about in your happy list? Probably.
If you ain’t so hot, that’s right, check yo’ list.
Find what you haven’t been doing, self-reflect a little more, and you’ll find the realization needed in order to improve your current state of being.
I can guarantee it.
Spend Time With Your Self
We don’t spend enough time with our Self.
A lot of the times, we feel lonely within our own company. I personally don’t think it’s right to feel that way all the time.
Something’s off if we can’t enjoy our alone time.
Something is off if we can’t find something stimulating and interesting to do when we are with our Self.
Loneliness is a poverty of selfMay Sarton
There’s so much to get to know within ourselves. You know the amount of time it takes to get to truly know another person? To understand their reactions, their meaning, their likes, dislikes.
It’s the same for our own person. It takes a hell of a lot time. Perhaps a life time.
Ask yourself questions. Experience. Take yourself out on fun dates.
Yes. You can feel boredom when you and your Self are hanging out. But that’s a good thing.
It motivates the mind to think of something to do.
Boredom is a room for creativity. And hopefully, instead of flipping on the TV to fill the space (I’m not hatin’, I’m just sayin’), perhaps you’ll flip open a book, try a new craft, move your body, stimulate yourself in a healthy way.
Ask your person what they like. Dislike. Why this makes them/you feel like that. Why they aren’t feeling creative. Why they have loads or very little energy. Why they lack trust towards us. What do we need to do in order to gain their trust/confidence back? What do we want for them in life?
Experience your Self. It takes alone time.
This alone time allows for us to become much richer in quality.
This quality will be proven through the way people respond to your authenticity.
Striving for happiness all takes time, trust and awareness.
Even though I’m preaching, I definitely need to bring this into my daily experience much more often.
Fleeting waves of shit hit me all the time (So poetic). One second I’m loving the time with my Self, other times I’m lonely and refuse to be with my Self. Then, that Self begins to feel neglected and pushed away. Causing me to feel non-fulfilled or even sad.
I’ve noticed this to be a pattern as well, but I’ll take it easy on the lists. I think you’re getting the point of all this banter.
Happiness is a path that involves hardship, sacrifice, struggle, character development, faith, trust. It takes balls.
Pleasure is easy. It be givin’ itself up at a moment’s notice. Pleasure, instant gratification, usually comes with an after burn. Reflect on those times as well.
Sometimes, for happiness, you have to sacrifice the short-term pleasures for the long-term joy.
“I can’t go out tonight. I need to study.”
“I can’t eat that junk food. I need energy later.”
“I can’t jump into a relationship right now. I need to focus on my goals.”
“I can’t spend my money on this. I need to save it for that.”
“I shouldn’t watch TV right now. I should write out some plans.”
You know what you need to do for yourself. As do I. It’s interesting that sometimes it is difficult to do what is best for us, but I think doing what’s best for our Self takes self-love and care for our person.
Some people naturally like who they are. Others don’t. That’s something to work on if you’re the latter. Trust.
If you don’t like or care about a person, you will do very little for them.
Little tip: Say unto thyself, “I love you. You are my entire world and you deserve the richest experience of life. I will make sure your life is as great as life itself.”
In Happy Conclusion
Emotions are trying to speak.
They aren’t trying to consume us. They direct us. Sure, it’s hard to feel sadness. It’s hard to feel struggle. But we have to have that experience to know what makes us feel good in order direct our lives around and towards that light.
I hope this post has helped in some way. I’ve been struggling with writing. I’ve been staring at this empty blog page for days. Procrastinating. Little belief in my ability to create something worthwhile.
But I wrote down my happy list and followed it thusly.
And even if this post isn’t as helpful as I hope it to be, I already feel a sense of accomplishment.
Remember folks, do what makes you feel happy.
It’s that simple… right?