Fearless Friday: Learning How To Make Yourself Happy
Can you recall the last time you were truly joyful? Perhaps images of carefree times come to mind, a fond memory, or even moments with a beloved friend. If a specific occasion or event in your life reminds you of happier times, you may be missing a much greater message surrounding the pursuit of joy. Happiness isn’t a destination or something to aspire to achieve. Happiness and joy are available to you now, and just require a shift in your perception.
Imagine if happiness and deep internal joy weren’t dependent on whether a situation is ideal—a relationship, financial success or personal achievement. What if happiness is simply total acceptance of whatever is in your life presently, with no expectation of more or less? This type of joy is internal and ever present, unlike the external world that is reactionary. It is contrary to all that we’ve been taught about separating emotions and thoughts from happiness, but this is the only true way to deep joy and fulfillment. Joy no longer depends on the outside world or what it offers or lacks. Happiness is forever accessible and becomes familiar, regardless of the external world.
Let’s go back to that last time you felt truly joyful. What happened in your life to bring such happiness? When your expectation of the circumstance changed, did your joy also disappear? What if joy wasn’t dependent on things that come and go, but acted as your compass for the direction you take in life? No longer would you experience the highs and lows, the need for instant gratification and desire for fleeting moments of bliss. In this way you begin to see life through a lens of gratitude and understanding, and experience freedom that only acceptance offers.
Life guarantees opportunities and setbacks, but genuine joy never leaves. Joyfulness is an ever present feeling of comfort, protection, and safety that isn’t addicted to the highs and lows in life. Joy is nurtured by detaching from the present moment in complete acceptance of what is, not what remains to be, past or future.
Happiness and joy are one and the same and can be explained as a deep satisfaction, a peace that resonates in the heart and soul. To experience this way of living, detach from the thoughts that control you, those familiar worries, anxieties, and fears. Beneath worry lies peace, beneath anxiety lies acceptance, and beneath fear lies limitless potential. Under all of the feelings of fear that hold you back is a deep acceptance and gratitude for everything, just as it is.
For just a moment I challenge you to remove the fear, expectations, and desire for more. Just be present, in this moment. Ask yourself, if this moment, this life, was all that you had, would you continue to waste time seeking and searching for more? If this life is all that you have, why reserve even a minute for chasing the future or holding on to the past?
Days, months, and years pass by, often without us embracing the present moment for the incredible gift that it is. Being absent from the present means you’re never truly living. When your heart is open, your mind is free. No longer are you weighed down by fear, because fear no longer exists. There is nothing to fear when your path is purposeful and your heart is guided by the desires of your spirit.
In my life, I have experienced happiness and setback, success and disappointment. And regardless of what my day may bring, I realize that dedicating time to fear only robs me of the beauty available in each moment. Joy and happiness is a choice that is made in each moment to release fear and accept what is. My happiness is a choice—to be grateful for my life and everything in it, just as it is. By embracing life you no longer feel resistance to what is; you begin to develop gratitude and understanding for your path and unique purpose in life. You feel no lack because what isn’t there isn’t intended to be. And you no longer desire more, because all that you have is enough.
True joy is only available in the present moment, enabled by a willingness to remove expectations of your experience and desires in the present moment. When you accept your path and life as it unfolds, you begin to understand the need for all that has happened in life, positive or negative in perception. Without darkness there’s no contrast of light, without pain no contrast of pleasure, and without setbacks no understanding of growth. This path to happiness offers freedom from all that weighs on your heart and mind. Accept your life just as it is, perfect in the moment, and have joy for the journey, wherever it may lead.
Why not play with the thought today that everything in your life, good or bad, is a choice. Chose to be in a state of happiness and joyfulness regardless of what your day may bring. I would love to hear your personal experience as you play with these ideas in your own life. Please share your experience as we all learn from each other, and join our inspired community on Facebook.