Happy people build their inner world; unhappy people blame their outer world. Buddha
Is happiness a choice?
It’s an interesting question isn’t it? What do you think? Is your happiness a choice? Can you choose whether or not to be happy, or is happiness something we all have a right to expect in life?
When it comes to happiness I think there are two categories of people.
Have you noticed how some people seem to be happy all the time no matter what, even through the most difficult life challenges, they manage to keep on laughing and even make others laugh in the process? While others who seem to have everything, struggle to keep a smile on their faces, even when life is good?
What is it that enables one group to choose happiness and another to not?
Which category would you say you’re in?
I have to admit that for many years I was in the second category. It took years of work, work that’s still on-going—but thankfully today, I can definitely place myself in the first category.
Today I can keep laughing even through difficulties, because I’ve learnt to not take life so seriously—and I’m learning to see my challenges as learning opportunities.
So to answer my question, in my view happiness is a choice—or shall I say, it becomes a choice. It became a choice, when I realised, I was in fact unhappy.
This may sound crazy, but the truth is many of us are unhappy but don’t really know it. So until we can acknowledge our own unhappiness, I think being happy is not something we can easily choose to be.
Because it’s only when you realise, you’re unhappy, can you start doing something about it.
Your Happiness Is Your Own Responsibility
Being accountable to yourself for your happiness is what empowers you to choose, since being happy is your own responsibility.
Each of us, meaning every individual is responsible for his or her own happiness—Actually, no person, thing or situation can make us happy.
True lasting happiness is an inner state—a state only we can give ourselves.
So, you have to work towards your happiness, the same way you work towards everything else in life.
I’ve come to realise that we cannot manifest the things we want in life without focus, attention and consistent effort and in some cases this effort, means hard work.
Take any well-known musician, actor, sports personality or successful person and I bet you all of them will say they started perfecting their craft at an early age, then spent many years honing their skills and talents.
That’s what it takes to be good at something.
Some of you may argue that manifesting what you want should be easy and effortless.
Yes, I agree, it should be possible to manifest what you want easily and effortlessly, but firstly, getting to such levels of manifestation also needs consistent effort.
Nothing comes to us for free.
So, in the end, you still have to work for whatever you want in life and your happiness is no different.
But why can’t you expect happiness to just come to you?
Well, happiness cannot come to you without you first sowing the seeds of happiness. When you sow the right seeds, only then can you expect to reap the fruits.
Sowing seeds of negativity cannot produce fruits of happiness.
Take a minute now, to see what seeds you’re sowing.
Happiness Is The Quality Of The Universe
Sri Bhagavan says, “Happiness is the quality of the universe” so from this perspective, it’s probably everyone’s right to expect to be happy, because we are all an integral part of the universe aren’t we? But how many of us really feel aligned with what Sri Bhagavan is saying here?
Not so many of us right?
If happiness is the quality of the universe, it’s also the inherent quality of every human being isn’t it, so why aren’t we all happy?
Well, I believe there’s a simple answer to this question—We aren’t happy because we’re blindly searching for happiness outside of ourselves
Take me for example, for many years I felt unhappy, but didn’t really know it—and when I finally realised just how unhappy I was, I felt at a loss to do something about it. I wanted to be happy but just didn’t know how to be.
There seemed to be many external factors outside my control blocking my happiness.
I also thought my happiness depended on having material things.
So I set myself goals like—Let me just get that job, then I’ll be happy, when I’m in the perfect relationship, I’ll be happy, when I’m earning more money, that’ll make me happy, or when I buy the house of my dreams, I’ll be happy. The list just went on and on.
But guess what, systematically achieving each goal didn’t bring me the happiness I was hoping for.
Why? Because material things are temporary pleasures that only fulfil us in the moment, they very quickly leave us feeling empty again.
So then I blamed other factors like my parents, the situation, my relationships or life itself for my unhappiness.
Because that’s what we do isn’t it? We blame others for our unhappiness.
We blame them because we burden them with the responsibility for making us happy, so when they fail, and inevitably they do (because nothing outside of ourselves can make us happy) we feel justified in blaming them.
Happiness Does Not Come From External Sources
Many of you rush from one relationship to the other hoping our partners will make you happy.
But this is not your fault, the problem is you’ve been brainwashed into thinking your happiness will come from external sources.
I know I believed having an active social life and the right friends around right me would make me happy. I think I thought this way because of the images I saw on TV.
You may think this is naïve and you may be right, but it’s true!
Growing up, television skewed my perspective on what the so-called happy life looked like. People on TV were happy, had flawless bodies; sparkling smiles, loving family relationships and of course they lived happily ever after.
However these portrayals were only fantasy, fantasies designed to help us escape the mundanities of real life.
But until we know better, we believe what we see on TV, especially when we’re young.
The truth is, these very same screen actors that many of us look up to, admire and aspire to be and who appear to have it all, are also dreadfully unhappy.
Today, social media is skewing our perspective—We fool others and ourselves by presenting the world with images of our happy lives, but our reality can look very different can’t it?
So, what’s the answer? How do you go from unhappiness to lasting happiness and when does happiness really a become a choice?
True Happiness Comes From Within
Well, the journey into happiness begins once you start taking conscious responsibility for your own happiness.
Like I’ve said, no external factors can make you happy.
Your husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, jobs, dream houses, cars and all the money in this world cannot make you happy.
Because true happiness comes from within.
What these external factors can do however, is enhance whatever state you’re already living in.
So only when you’re happy within yourself, can your husbands, wives, children etc, intensify that happiness.
But they cannot make you happy because they cannot change your internal state.
Only you can change how you feel on the inside and you do this by actively working on the issues or blocks that are preventing you from feeling the joy and happiness you long for.
Remember your external world is simply reflecting of your internal world. So, when you spend time healing your internal world, your external world will automatically change to reflect that healing.
Examples of the blocks I’m speaking about can be issues such as: unresolved childhood pain, life trauma, feeling unloved, non-acceptance of oneself, non-acceptance of your past, limiting beliefs and negative emotions such as fear, guilt and shame.
All of these situations have the power to negatively impact how you perceive yourself, how you perceive the world around you, and which can consequently affect how you live your life.
In order to live life happy, you must dedicate time and energy to dealing with the things blocking your natural state of happiness.
For me this meant working on myself for many years through deep contemplation, intensive courses at different spiritual centres around the world, silent meditation, energy work and spiritual healing.
The path to happiness is different for everyone, but the most important thing is taking the steps.
If you take the steps to healing yourself from the inside out, you will see lasting results that no person, situation or material thing can change. You become the master of your own happiness.
So, if you want lasting happiness you must find the healing modality that works for you and give yourself the priceless gift of healing.
Then your happiness no longer becomes a choice to be made, but rather the state in which you live in every day.
Originally published on www.calloftheinnervoice.com