All of us are looking for happiness. When you look at the end result we would like to experience from all of our choices, happiness is what we hope to find. However, it seems like many people let other things get in the way of their happiness. Anger, jealousy, worry or just plain fear grab ahold of your mind and stop you from reaching the ultimate goal of being happy in life. It is the attachments we build to relationships, events, jobs or anything else that stop us from enjoying the experiences we have every day.
Let it Go
It starts with the things we are attached to. They may be based on thoughts and beliefs that we learned as children and never questioned. Thoughts about security, happiness, survival, success, we believe all these things in our lives are necessary to be happy. Most of these things we hold on to are not the path to happiness but obstacles to it.
We are taught a narrative from a young age about what a successful education, career and family life should look like. Years are spent cultivating this perceived image of success. We attach tightly to it, even though it may not make us happy. Letting go is difficult because our jobs have become a part of our identity. Changing the narrative can be difficult because we are worried about being accepted and what others, even those closest to us will think. Let go of your attachments and see what happens.
Paradise and Hell
Inside each of us is the potential for paradise and the potential for hell. We decide which one shows up in our life. Although much of what happens to us is out of our control, how we react to everything is 100% our choice. We have the potential to build positive circumstances or negative ones. Our choice of focus will determine what manifests in your life and how you affect the world.
If our choice is to wallow in the suffering of past hurts and sorrows is a choice that will lead to a negative experience for yourself and those who are around you. You are making the decision to allow those negative feelings to grow inside you and what we nurture inside will show up on the outside.
The good news is that no matter how negative you are currently or have been in the past, change can happen right now at this very moment. The opposite thoughts are available to you right now. If you are experiencing fear, choose thoughts of love. If you are bitter, focus on thoughts of acceptance. By concentrating and focusing on the positive the seeds grown will choke out the negative in all aspects of life.
This leads to the practice of mindfulness. To me, that means to plant your focus squarely on today and what is happening in your life right now. Not getting lost in the memories of the past or trapped by thoughts of what might happen in the future. Practicing mindfulness can provide a positive energy throughout the day and that positive wave is available to you at all times.
Focused breathing is a simple way to bring your mind into the moment and to choke out random thoughts of the past or future. Happiness is in the moment. Not all moments are great to experience but each moment of life has the potential for the experience of happiness. You will miss this if your mind is lost in the past or floating around in the future.
Manage your Focus
A focus of thought is the next step and it works with mindfulness. Once you are able to center your thoughts on what is happening today then weeding out the ones that negatively affect you is easy to do. Being able to concentrate will not allow thoughts of potential suffering or fear of the future to stop you from living a vital and happy life right now. Life is a test and there will be moments that test you. True growth would be difficult without them.
Notice Your Thoughts
Clarity is the result of all of this. Seeing the world as it truly is and finding happiness in that experience. Not worrying about what MIGHT come tomorrow or regret or be fretting over the past. This will set you free from the suffering thoughts of anger, jealousy, and fear. The result will be feelings of true happiness. We all have the ability to use this insight but it seems few take advantage of it to increase our level of happiness. That choice, as in all things is yours.