Are there individuals that authentically appear and feel happy as their normal mode of being? Of course. Have they had their share of heartache and suffering? Yes. The universe grants us many opportunities to expand our minds and hearts in ways that allow us to feel deeply—both the beauties and difficulties of life in order to understand the difference. However, if we keep our distance or are cut off from our emotions, we never truly experience such depths which in turn may not be fulfilling and only cause us and our loved ones more harm than good. This is not to say to experience life with reckless abandonment of emotion. But instead try to find the balance of openly feeling, yet within limits we decide for our well being that keeps us respected and internally secure.
If/when we are mindful of how to feel happy in a way that suites our desires, needs, and self-worth, rather than “find it” or “be it”, it allows for steady rooting within our core. That is the marked difference; “to be” is merely a state that ebbs and flows like the tide while “to find” something implies a continuous search that hasn’t yet brought desired results.
To feel happy requires the choice to commit to one’s self. It’s honoring the decision, lifestyle, and way of thinking that continuously allows the emotional layer of our being to mature and strengthen in its development. Daily reminders or perhaps re-programming of the mind from negative thinking are needed in order to maintain the feeling. Only then the benefits will lead way to living a richer, fuller, more balanced, and expansive life. Needless to say, the beauty of being human is that we think, feel, and experience the world through a variety of emotions—many in which words can’t even describe and push us to our absolute limits. However, we can make the choice to have gratitude for what we have learned, what we are experiencing, and for what is to come as we navigate our lives in a more authentic way that feels good rather than going through the motions of feeling lost or insincere.
In order to feel happy, one must accept that external sources do not define or assign value to who or what we are as individuals. Also removing conditions. So often we place our happiness or ideas of it in the future, rather than living and feeling it in the present. Only we have the ability to determine this and shift our ways of existing.
This happens when we become self aware and create healthy boundaries to ensure personal levels of comfort. First, we must decide how much we are willing to share ourselves with others along with what is being reciprocated (or not) in return. If something feels out of balance, trust it and take some space and time to make adjustments inwardly. We can only change ourselves, not others. However, they in turn can react, respond, change and/or choose to follow or walk away from us once we’ve made a transformation—whether big or small. Secondly, by discovering and maintaining a positive self-image along with giving ourselves self love and care daily, our inner happiness begins to emerge and is authentically projected outwardly. People and situations will respond differently and perhaps for the better based upon what is being reflected back to them. The exchange of happiness becomes contagious.
Although material goods, travel, relationships, career, friends, and hobbies/talents certainly enrich our lives and give us opportunities to love, create a richness of interpersonal exchanges, expand our intelligence, drive our goals, and nurture our interests, they will never fully fulfill our voids or needs. Only we can do it by accepting who we are, making necessary personal changes, and putting our needs first so we can wholly love ourselves and others freely without unreasonable expectations.
In fact by turning over the keys to our hearts to someone or something and expecting that they are the answer to our problems, prayers, protection, and happiness is actually counterproductive and counterintuitive. It also renders us powerless and dependent rather than strong and independent.
When I reflect back on my life, I sacrificed my own well-being, goals, time, energy, and finances on others. I thought only someone or something could make me fully happy, because I had yet to find my inner contentment and what it was I was searching for in order to feel whole. I also valued the happiness of others more than my own. It used to give me greater pleasure (so I thought) to make their experiences more meaningful and joyful. Although I genuinely gave this demonstration of love from my heart, I would increasingly feel depleted as I didn’t receive the same level of reciprocation, which is a form of imbalance. I wasn’t seeking validation from others—although they sincerely made me feel appreciated. The problem was that I didn’t validate myself and honor my basic needs. This was due to my personal belief that it’s better to give without expecting anything from anyone rather than allowing myself to receive from the person that in fact I gave to or even perhaps from a complete stranger who wanted to do a random act of kindness for me. In retrospect, this has served a great purpose in highlighting a crucial area of myself that needed attention, healing, and impeded my own happiness.
True happiness is felt on an internal level; where we control who or what adds to and enriches our lives yet moving gracefully through the passing of each day as if it were truly the last. Even in the most displeasing of situations and circumstances, we have the capability to transmute, change, and walk away. We are not obligated to stick it out and endure if our spirit is truly in a state of feeling broken, numb, and/or harmed. At the very least, it’s our decision whether or not to permit and enable external factors to infringe on our happiness. But at our very best, we deserve to live lives that make us feel worthy, at peace with ourselves and others, and make our hearts smile.