Sunday, May 19, 2013

Focusing on Your Own Happiness FIRST

Far too often we place our power outside of ourselves. We feel that others have the ability to make us happy and far too often we expect them to do so. Unfortunately, many people get caught in the trap of blaming others for their own unhappiness as if the ability to cause you to be happy or unhappy can lie outside of yourself.
Only you can make you happy and only you can make you unhappy.
I've always known that intellectually, and yet I still got upset when others didn't treat me the way that I felt they should treat me. Or, when I would do something for them that I thought deserved a different response than the one I was given, I'd feel rejected or taken advantage of or some other detrimental emotion. Then of course, my actions that would come from that feeling were always less than loving. They were unloving not only toward others, but toward myself as well. We are all connected, so how could they not be? What I do to another, I do to all others and that includes myself. I had heard this, meditated on it, read extensively about it and yet, continued the same unloving behaviors. This wasn't intentional, of course, I wouldn't harm myself purposely, but regardless, I was unloving and unkind at times and this effected everyone.
I gave my power away to others. They held the key to my happiness and if they didn't do what they needed to do to make me happy or they did something that upset me, I became upset and blamed them. They were "bad" and "wrong" and of course I was the good one and I got to be right. It was no coincidence that my relationships with others at this time in my life were very strained, because my happiness was so dependent upon them and they so easily let me down. Then I went to a coaching session and started the process of reclaiming this power when my coach asked me kind of out of the blue: "Are you the most important person in your life?"
Whoa. I stood there and just kind of looked at him blankly. I didn't know how to answer, because I couldn't answer yes with any kind of conviction and I didn't want to say no. It was eye opening. I had never before realized how much I don't treat myself like the most important person in my life. We talked for the rest of my session about this and by the end of the hour I felt that it was an absolute necessity that I become the center of my own universe, of my own life. If I'm not then who or what is?
Very recently, last night actually, something happened that really drove the idea home that other people can't make me happy and they should never be expected to. I told someone something and had a conversation that I expected would illicit a particular response. When I didn't get it I was very disappointed. As a matter of fact, it started to ruin my night. I was in a bad mood and taking it out on the people that were with me. They I reminded myself that I didn't need to respond in that way and I decided to let it go. It took some effort to do that, but I knew I needed to. I don't want to be at the effect of what other people decide to do or not do.
When I laid down to sleep the feelings of disappointment and a twinge of anger returned and I tossed and turned for a couple hours. Finally, around 1:00 in the morning, a wise, friendly voice talked to me from inside of myself: "This is your life, Rhiannon. This is your life. What are you doing? Why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you living for everyone else? You don't need to. Until you change, this will continue to happen and you will not find lasting happiness." I decided that I want lasting happiness more than anything and so I must decide to change this way of being.I must decide to be the source of my own joy.
I understand that things effect us as human beings. We have feelings, this is a part of life for everyone. At times some of those feelings will not be pleasant and in fact will be emotions that are very difficult to deal with. At these times it can seem impossible to remember that you are the source of your own joy. However, you are; and you can choose whether or not to stay in that emotion or to "spiral up" to a better feeling. You also have the power to choose (no matter how you are feeling) what you think, say and do. No one can take the power to be happy away from you, just as no one can give it to you.
This is a choice that can be made in every moment by being where you are and enjoying the life that you are living as you are living it. There is nothing that needs to be different in order to please you, nothing that you can accumulate or achieve that will bring you more than superficial and fleeting joy. True joy comes from being in love with the life that you have, as it is. If you are in bed, writing, as I am right now, there is something to be in love with. My laptop is amazing and I am so thankful that I have it. My children are all sleeping soundly and I am thankful for the peace and quiet. My mate is beside me and I am so grateful to have a him as a lover, partner and best friend. I am breathing, my heart is beating and my fingers are hitting keys to type these words. I get to experience the amazing miracle of life in the time and space that is now and here. That is exciting. That is worthy of my deepest gratitude. Happiness is contentment with what is while at the same time knowing that I have limitless potential to do whatever it is that I desire and that I am worthy of love, abundance and joy. Happiness is knowing that if I won the lottery for millions of dollars the only thing that would change would be the house I live in, the furniture and the clothes I wear. The people in my life would remain #1 priority and I would still enjoy the same things I do now. That is my joy. 


  1. I was just interviewing NYT bestselling author, Marci Shimoff, yesterday and she said something that struck me. "People think focusing on your own happiness is selfish when, in fact, it's the least selfish thing you can do." When you focus on your own happiness, you are able to love others more, treat others with a greater amount of love and patience and everyone likes to be around a light (count me out as the person who likes to be around unhappy people).

    1. Yes - Marci Shimoff! Where could I find that interview?
      It's so true, it's a completely loving act in every way. How can you love others and be happy with them when you aren't loving or happy toward yourself?