This post is a second in a series about happiness. If you have not yet done so, please read the previous post first.
Today we will take a deep-dive into the true understanding of self as the precondition for happiness.
I bet that there was a moment in your life when you asked yourself: why am I here? What’s the purpose of this life? What am I supposed to do here?
These questions usually arise in adolescence, but most of the time they go unnoticed, unresolved, unanswered. They often reappear later in life, but by then we get coarse and dismiss them, until for some of us a breaking point happens, which is when we open our eyes to the new reality, and start exploring. This exploration is the magical beginning of a new life, bringing us back to the path of happiness. But unfortunately, it does not happen to many of us.
A very sad truth about today’s world, is that families do not seek to maintain contacts with the wise men, who could answer such fundamental questions as our life’s purpose. Instead, we are taught to memorise facts about recent history, figure out the relationship between chemical compounds, learn the resistance of various materials, and whatnot.
Meanwhile, understanding of self is fundamental to our happiness. Knowing and understanding who you truly are, your nature, your likes and dislikes, the way you function – all that gives us a better perspective on life in general and on our goals in specific.
Let’s touch upon some basic elements of understanding of self. I am about to hit you with some deep stuff here! I do it because it played a pivotal role at a certain period of my life, and so I really want to share it with you today.
- You are not your body. You are a soul, currently residing in a vessel that is your body.
Please, do not read this in a religious way. This is simply a fact, which has been proven scientifically (in case you are into modern-style science) and is, thankfully, beyond discussion.
Understanding that you are a soul, residing in the current body, can help you to detach from this physical world’s mentality, and elevate to higher planes of vibration.
This can help you realise how heavily our current so-called developed western society is conditioning people’s minds to buy-buy-buy, work-work-work, achieve-achieve-achieve, more-more-more, fashion-fashion-fashion, you get the drift. It will hopefully help you become more focused on your own world, your own interests, your own personality. On your own truth. Ultimately, it will encourage you to make your own authentic choices in life. Just keep reading.
- Your current life experience is a result of your past actions. Today’s actions define the construct of your reality tomorrow.
We all agree that if you hit your finger with the hammer instead of the nail when putting some Ikea furniture together, it will hurt. You won’t start cursing at the hammer for hurting you, because you know that you were the one holding it, so you are totally responsible for the pain. However, often we tend to blame others for our misfortunes.
In the same way as the hammer hits your finger, the result of whatever you do will literally come back to you. It might take long, or not. It might have the same magnitude, or it may be so big it will knock you off your feet.
This is a very important lesson. It helps us see that our choices, defined by our desires, fears, or influenced by someone whom you perceive as an authority, are directly related to the future we are building for ourselves. It is inevitable, like the thunder after the lightning.
This very straightforward causality leads us to realise the consequences of our actions, of our choices. Did you regret not standing up for yourself in that humiliating talk with your senior manager, because as a child you were taught to obey and you don’t know how to handle your rage and frustration on the spot? Did you really mean to shout at your child last night, which you did because you just hate to live the life everyone else tells you to? Did you really want to ignore that person in the street, asking for help, because you doubt his honesty?
Let’s consider your options.
Not responding to humiliations will lead to more bullying. However, taking time to prepare good responses for the moments of humiliation can turn the situation around. It can help you grow out of the misery and become a better version of yourself.
Shouting at your child will result in alienation of your child. At the same time, simply stating to your child that you are not well, and that you need some time to think about things can help the child understand you better, and learn to respect your needs as a parent. It can help avoid a childhood trauma for your kid, and make you a better parent.
Not supporting the one who asks you for it can lead you to not being supported in a moment of need. You already know what I will say next, right? Giving a hand to someone can not only save his or her current situation, but also come back to you in a multitude of different unpredictable ways. Do not underestimate the Universe!
Hopefully, realising that “all comes back to you” will encourage you to assume responsibility for your actions and take the right path from now on.
You know what else is very important here? Your choice of the people around you. Think about it. The more time you spend with people who talk you down instead of inspiring you, who use you instead of creating something magnificent together, who are ready to give up on you the moment you show yourself the way that is inconvenient to them – the more miserable you become. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with those who inspire you, who can lead you and show you the way to where you want to go.
It may take a lot of courage to internalise this concept and to change your patterns of behaviour. But trust me, if you do, it will help you gain a deeper understanding of your life. Moreover, it will bring you inexplicable happiness. Some bad things may happen to you as a result of your past actions even while you are already on your way up, but also some good things will certainly happen to you in the future because today you decided to take yourself on.
- You have natural tendencies for, or interests in, some things, and complete ignorance of, or inabilities in, some other things.
We come here with a certain set of knowledge, that we have accumulated over the past lives.
Have you ever felt like you already know what your teacher / coach / leader is telling you? As if you were simply recalling it all? This is because you already know it all, you just temporarily forgot about it (sounds weird, but it is true).
By contrast, some things come with such difficulty, that you start feeling self-conscious and kind of miserable, because most other people are way ahead. Even worse, if your parents always wanted you to do that thing because they never managed, and laid all their hopes on you. While all you do is look for ways to escape, because you cannot stand the sight of it.
Can you relate?
The truth is that we have a lot of information and knowledge stored inside ourselves. Our destiny makes us meet the right people and face the right circumstances at the right moment, which trigger the learning process, so as you could progress faster and become even better at it. But we are not good at everything, so we must learn to listen to ourselves and detect where our interests lie, what our talents are.
- Your life has a purpose on this planet, and it is your responsibility to dig deep enough, question and analyse, to figure it out. Mentor/coach’s help can be of great benefit in this.
It would be too strange to think that the Universe – so beautiful, so intricate and so complex – has us created with no purpose. That would be rather wasteful on its part, would it not? There is for sure a higher purpose to our existence.
To cut the long story short, our highest purpose is to please our Creator.
Did you know that our Universe is a machine for making our wishes come true? Have you ever wondered why they say “be careful what you wish for”?
The sole wish of our Creator is for everyone to be happy. Our utmost happiness can be achieved only when we reach his realms. In the meantime, he cannot resist making our wishes come true, even if they might harm us in the end. The Universe gives us the free choice of willing whatever we want, and grants us our wishes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later, depending on the wish 😉 and our readiness to receive it.
So, while our Creator grants all our wishes, we also have a choice to do something nice in return. How could we show our gratitude for it?
Quite simply, by walking the path to reach our Creator. The road can be long and winding (per aspera ad astra) and the best thing we can do while we are at it, is to bring happiness and joy to those around us by doing what we are good at, by exercising our talents. After all, God is in everyone of us. So, by bringing joy to others, we bring the joy to the Almighty. Is is not amazingly simple? 🙂
Now that we made some amazing realisations, let’s get back to our level of happiness.
To start with, filter out your entourage. Choose those people who you really want to spend time with. Decide for yourself what you want to do and who you want to become. Then act.
Next, detach a bit from the “material world” (thanks, Madonna). More clothes, more fancy cars, more money, more trips around the world – they all have very fleeting ability to make us happy. It is an ephemeral kind of happiness. Don’t get me wrong – I love wearing stylish dresses while being taken in a modern comfortable and green-energy fuelled car to the airport to go to a fancy destination of my own choosing. But I will not bet my life on this kind of entertainment to keep me profoundly happy always and forever.
Instead of another shopping spree, spend some time on your own, even better – in nature, and identify what you are good at, what you like doing, and devote more time to it. And when you have done it for long enough (some say that 10 000 hours is enough to become an expert at something!), start sharing. Be on the outlook of how you could make people around you happy.
You might start wondering: but what do I have to give? The truth is: it can be really anything.
It can be as simple (and yummy!) as baking cupcakes and sharing them with your neighbour. Or, if you are a masseuse, give a free massage to someone who cannot afford it. Or bring a flower to a friend just to show how much you care for her. Or help a woman with a buggy get up the stairs in the metro. Just get in the flow, and respond to the circumstances. Even better – become aware of a bigger picture, and start creating the circumstances, where you could do something for someone.
The moment you give unconditionally and with an open heart, it will bring you joy, it will help you feel better, think happier, and it will leave a positive footprint in your life.
Is that not worth trying?