Many years ago I decided to get on top of my own happiness. It started with a simple visit to a therapist. In fact, I was not even the instigator of the visit. I went with a friend who needed support to start therapy. Much to my surprise and his chagrin within two weeks I was off on my own journey of inner discovery. Five and half years later I decided to fly the coop and at that time I knew I was a happy person. I had learned Lesson One in Don’t Worry, I’m Happy.
Lesson One – Stop looking for happiness in all the wrong places.
I thought that happiness was something that lived somewhere down the street or maybe even in a different city, country or planet. I kept trying to create journey’s so I could reach my desired destination. I thought that if I travelled well enough, far enough or with enough people then surely I would get there. I did not. I kept hearing about happiness. Apparently other people had discovered it but when I arrived it seemed to have moved or be away on vacation. Eventually after several trips I decided to stop looking for happiness. Clearly this was not the way to create a life I would love to live.
Lesson Two – Faking it is not making it.
One of the enduring benefits of the travels I had done in search of happiness is that I stumbled upon a practice for spiritual discovery that I enjoyed, in fact more than one. There were many suggestions, insights and tools presented but there was one that I felt sure would work. It seemed, or so I was told, that if I would adopt a practice of faking it then apparently I would convince myself that it was my new reality. Just the like the looking in all the wrong places it seemed that faking it was not to be the route to my own success. When I faked it I felt fake. I failed to see how fake was somehow going to make authentic. It did not. In short, fake felt fake.
Lesson Three – Stop telling myself and others I am not happy.
Finally and I believe only as a result of complete fatigue did I happen upon the wisdom of the ages. I stopped telling myself I was not happy. I did not mention it to other people. I did not really listen to other peoples stories of their unhappiness. I filed away unhappiness in the bottom drawer of my conscious mind and just like I have lost many articles in the bottom drawer of my kitchen cupboards, unhappiness became more difficult to find. This emboldened me. I was ready for my final lesson which is in fact where I remain today.
Lesson Four – Start living the happy life.
This is easy. In fact I think I wandered around for about six months with a smile on my face and a propensity to burst out laughing at any moment. Nature abhors a vacuum and so when I stopped the unhappiness, happiness rushed in and filled me up. I no longer was looking or faking or telling myself or listening to others stories about our/their state of happiness. Rather than listening or talking I was walking the path of happiness. I was simply living my life and looking each day for something I had enjoyed. Because I was consciously enjoying I was no longer unhappy. Because I had turned my attention to my happy life I was aware of even more happiness within it. It built quickly and easily and continues to this day.
So that is it. My four life lessons wherein I happily dumped unhappiness and learned to live the life I love.