How To Be Happy Now
I've always considered myself an optimist. I grew up with a very positive mom who taught me to see every situation in life as a great lesson, no matter how traumatic the situation. My mom was left by my dad suddenly one day, with six kids to raise on her own. I was a mere 18 months old and being the youngest, I could not have grasped the seriousness of the situation. But growing up, this story of loss was always the key reason for my mom's happiness. Now, this seems backwards... so let me explain.
I have often reflected back on my divorce, or on the suffering of my patients, or my mom's own suffering, and have found an inner strength that has come out of no where that taught all of us who have gone through heart ships that happiness comes from a place that is so much deeper than the external world. We have been taught, as a society, that in order to be happy we need to get more things. Bigger houses, more money, more prestigious jobs. I can say now, happiness is not achieved through these superficial avenues. Happiness is found in the heart. Plain and simple.
A year after my separation... when I finally got real with my loss... I insatiably looked up books with the title "How to be happy." I didn't care who wrote it, or how much it cost. All I knew is that I so badly just wanted to be happy, especially since I felt so completely unhappy at the time. I also made it a mission to live in a "No negativity zone" and placed an imaginary line between all negative people in my life. I even went as far as to ban all media from my life since I truly believe the main purpose of the news is to bother you, and not really inform.
Just taking those few steps, I found dramatic changes in my life. I found myself to be more joyful and happier then I have ever been. I noticed beauty all around me, in nature, in people and especially in myself. I made affirmations that would remind me of my greatness and I placed them strategically around my house. I did vision boards, visualizations and meditated frequently. I wrote gratitude lists and would frequently send praise out to the universe for all of the greatness in my life, such as being alive in the first place.
But I think the number one thing that made me happy was a true connection to spirit. I finally found something within me that was so much greater than me. Something that I could feel and instinctively know was there to help me be happier. It's kind of like the feeling you get when you watch a beautiful sunset, the kind that takes you a minute to catch your breath because it is so beautiful. Or listening to a child laugh whole heartedly. The pure innocence of that laugh that adds a ring around your heart and helps you love everything more.
Spirit, or God, has given me a deep understanding of true, unconditional happiness. I mean, I still have my sad days, but now I know what it feels like to be so unconditionally happy and loved that I know I will be there again. Not a lot of people have reached this place, although we are all completely capable of this and really it is our God given right to reach this place.
It's time we throw out all that we once knew and realize that our core, our true selves, are perfect and made up of unconditional love. This truth will set you free from all of those beliefs that we are not worthy or that we somehow missed the boat on being happy. Just stop for a minute, reflect on the greatness in your life and give thanks. Always give thanks. There really is so much to be thankful for.
Now if your saying right now "How could I possibly be happy when there is so much suffering in my life and in the world?" My advise is to be happy anyway. Just start by taking daily small steps to allow happiness in. Open your heart, silence your mind and let love in. I find helping those in need is a sure way of feeling better about yourself and feeing more connected and less alone.
Perhaps that is why I love being a nurse so much. I love nothing more than sitting with my patients and just being with them. The rewards of helping them far exceeds any kind of rewards I could get from materialistic items. I have had so many patients who have nothing, yet their spirit shines more than that of someone who appears to have everything.
Happiness is free. Happiness is freeing. Happiness allows us to be free from all suffering. You have a choice. Choose happiness. You deserve it.