The Steps to Happiness
Such a simple little word – happiness. We all want it. So how do we get it?
This site is about my journey to creating peace and happiness and, along the way, I will share what I’ve learned in my research. I have a Master’s of Science degree in Developmental Psychology. Big deal – right? That’s just a fancy way of saying that I like to try to figure out why people (myself included) do what they do and how they grow and change as they age. I’ve done a lot of research on Positive Psychology and Creating Happiness and I would love to share what I’ve found. In this blog, I define happiness as a state of peace and contentment. I often use the words peace and happiness interchangeably.
So, what is happiness? What makes you happy? We all have different answers to that. It could be spending time with family, travel, eating chocolate. There are endless answers to what makes you happy. For me, it changes with each second. But when you get down to the bottom of it, happiness is a feeling. It’s a feeling of contentment, peace, and joy. It’s that feeling when everything is right in the world. So how do we “make” that feeling? Good news! Because happiness is a feeling, we don’t need to depend on anyone else for it. It doesn’t come from money or relationships or jobs or anything else. It’s in us.
So what causes this feeling of peace? Here’s where I may start losing some people. Everyone is free to believe whatever they want. That’s what makes this life great! I believe that God lives inside each and every one of us. I mean He is actually in there. Waiting for us to find Him. That’s what our soul is. God, or Spirit, or whatever you want to call the Higher Being, is in our soul. But, He gave us a brain and a free will to think and to do what we want. He’s not in there controlling us. The problem is, we think that who we are is what we look like and what we think and what we do. It’s not. That’s the fake us. That’s the us that everyone sees. That’s the us that we think is real. That’s the us that we created to survive this world with as little emotional pain and heartache as possible. That’s the outside us. The real us, is the Spirit of God that lives in our soul. It’s the part of us that is all love and all peace. It’s what our outside self is trying to get back to. That’s what causes all bad feelings. It’s the separation of our outside self (the thinking us) from the inside self (our soul where God lives). All souls are connected to God. Because they are all connected to God, every single soul is also connected to each other. We may be separate people, but our souls are all connected. So when bad things happen to someone else, it will always come back to hurt us too.
Pretty much every time we get upset about something, it’s because a deep, down fear in us got stirred up. For me, 99% of the time I get upset, it’s because something stirred up my fear that I won’t be loved. I have a feeling that’s what everyone else’s deep, down fear is too. This fear is so big, it turned into a fear monster. When we get mad or frustrated or jealous or lonely or anxious or whatever, it’s because this fear got stirred up by something. We aren’t an angry world. We’re a scared world, So, when this fear monster gets stirred up our inside self (our soul) tries to get our outside self to come closer. When our inside self and our outside self come together as one, then we won’t have any fears and we’ll be completely at peace all the time. No matter what happens, we’ll be at peace. The world could go even more insane and we would be at peace. That’s what heaven is. It’s inside of us. Heaven’s not out there somewhere. It’s right inside of us living in our inside self (our soul). Wouldn’t it be nice to live in heaven while we’re on earth! Great as that would be, we tend to shove it down and ignore our inside self. We’re ignoring heaven. Every time we do what our outside self wants and ignore what our inside self is saying, we’re pushing heaven away from us. Crazy thought. I do it all the time.
Why on earth would we shove down God? Why on earth would we shove heaven away. That just sounds stupid. We wouldn’t do that. Well, we do. All the time. Why? Because we’re trying to protect ourselves from heartache. When people hurt us deeply (I mean that way down deep, you feel like you want to curl up and die hurt) we put up defenses so that we won’t feel that kind of pain again. We may get angry and push people away before they hurt us. We may watch people around us to see how they act so we can do the same. We may blame ourselves and decide that we need to change the way we look. Making all these defenses to protect ourselves actually builds a wall between us and our soul. We don’t mean to do that. We just want to protect our heart from pain. And we want to avoid that fear monster that says there is something so terribly wrong with us that people won’t love us. We do all kinds of things to try and keep this pain out. We do everything, except what we should. If you want to destroy that fear monster, you have to face it. That scares the heck out of us. Why on earth would we want to take on a monster that we’ve spent our whole lives running from? Because that’s the only way over the wall and back to your real self who hangs out with God.
So how do we face this fear monster? There are as many answers to that as there are people on earth. For me, it’s following the steps in this blog. It’s about recognizing when we have an unhappy feeling or an unkind thought about someone, knowing that we’re responsible for that feeling or thought (and not denying it or shoving it down), getting to the root of why we’re feeling unhappy, being grateful for all things in our lives – good and bad, and knowing that we are all connected so we have to treat people the way we want to be treated. Because treating them with love and kindness will actually bring love and kindness to us! And, last but not least, it’s about spending time with Spirit (or God). It’s about emptying our mind of all those thoughts that clutter it up so that we can just be with Spirit. It’s about being in the present moment. It’s about just being.
I would like for this blog to be about people helping people. So, tell me what you think. Are you having trouble finding peace and contentment? Do you have questions for me? I would love to hear them. Let me know.
Wishing you much peace,