I have heard that this is the “ego”, and also I am aware that lots of times, we aren’t even aware that we are doing this. This thinking is so naturally embedded in us, that we don’t even notice it.
I remember as a boy, always waiting for the final bell, so that I could be free of school. Sixteen was in forever, but then I would be able to drive myself anywhere I wanted to go. I always wanted it to be later in the day, to be older, to be somewhere else, to be doing something else. This thinking followed me in to my adulthood, and was the culprit to a lot of my unhappiness.
I learned to place conditions on my happiness, which is exactly what we do when we want something too badly. When we want something too badly and we make these comments like “I will be so happy when this happens!” we are unconsciously saying, “I am not happy now“.
If you feel unhappy, I invite you to think about why. What would you say if I just asked straight out, “Why are you unhappy?” It is very important to know the reason or reasons, because “like breeds like“. This means that your unhappiness is only going to create more unhappiness. You are not creating happiness with your unhappiness.
Lots of my clients and people that are in my life are struggling with this very same thing right now. People are struggling in relationships, people are struggling because of their weight, people are feeling stuck at jobs they don’t want, people are struggling with smoking, people are struggling all around me. This is what we do. We struggle. We decide, even if it is unconsciously, that “We won’t be okay until this happens.”
and so we are not happy.
There really is nothing wrong with wishing you could lose weight, wishing your relationship were better, or that you had a relationship. There is nothing wrong with wishing that you had more money either. Most of the time, there is nothing wrong at all with what we want. Where I go wrong is when I unconsciously put these conditions on my happiness.
Pastor Joel Olsteen is perhaps a little over the top for me, but I do listen to his talks, and am always in agreement with him and very impressed. Very regularly I have heard him remark, “If you cannot be happy now, you aren’t going to be happy later!” He speaks often about how we need to be grateful now, how we need to be happy now, how we need to cultivate these attitudes today, with things just the way they are. Pastor Olsteen says that if we aren’t happy with what God has given us already, then why should He give us more?
Of course I personally come more from the idea of Universal Laws. I don’t really gel with a God sitting up in the sky, deciding what to give to who and when. I believe in the basic Universal Laws that tell me “happiness breeds happiness”, “gratitude breeds gratitude”, “forgiveness breeds forgiveness”.
Using this idea, is a bit tricky though, because now it is I who am responsible.
This means no more sitting around frustrated and wondering when God is going to give me what I think will make me happy.
This means learning how to be happy right now with the way things are.
This means learning to accept and love myself no matter what.
Maybe I have bad habits that I think somehow I shouldn’t have. Maybe I am over weight. Maybe I am co-dependent or having trouble with relationships. Maybe I have been broke for a long time and see no end in site. Whatever it may be, we must learn to accept and love ourselves right now, just the way we are.
I have worked with enough people that I can confidently tell you that you aren’t as bad as you think you are. Things aren’t as bad as you think they are. Everybody and I mean EVERYBODY, is in the process of learning life lessons. So what? I know that I am not going to breed happiness until I become happy.
So today, right now, I am choosing to be happy. I am choosing to be a positive force in people’s lives, from my family, to people at the grocery store, to everyone I encounter. I have more than what I need, and I am going to be happy with that. I will keep my focus on the “good”, rather than what I perceive as “the bad”.
It is nice to just be happy.