Happiness Workshop

Recognizing Happiness Within
(Happiness, of necessity includes: love, peace, joy, beauty, etc.)

 In most of the Western world we have come to think of happiness as a thing; a possession and prize that we must earn through seemingly endless struggle and sacrifice. We tend to see it as something  outside of us, a destination in the distance, a fleeting experience; always out there or if and when. We think that life is about getting and having happiness and then holding onto it with a death grip. We believe this hunt for happiness is a lifelong odyssey, an epic search and chase for this holy grail.

Many of us feel “less than” others, that we must do, do, do to earn happiness, that we aren't worthy of happiness unless we rush through life, pay our dues, take our licks, and fight the good fight. This fight becomes a battle, then a war that never seems to end. We were taught that we must win the approval of others to deserve happiness by slaving endlessly to get the "best", "right" or "perfect" education, job, house, car, body, mate, kids and so on.

Even if we are basically good people: good students, workers, sons and daughters etc, we don't feel "good enough” to deserve happiness. Also the bar always seems to be getting higher, so we have to be super good in an attempt to achieve and sustain perfection in every area of life. And not just with ourselves, oh no, we have to take care of everybody and everything else perfectly before we are allowed to relax and enjoy happiness. Obviously, that never happens, so happiness remains elusive.

We may even be afraid we'll look foolish if we are happy, or that the happy people are somehow stupid or ignorant, that the difficulties of life demand a grim determination that won't allow room for happiness. We are often afraid of even having happiness; that it will make us vulnerable, that someone will stomp on our joy and hurt us. We think we must suffer now to get happiness later, or if we are happy now, we will suffer for it later. We can feel we are on the outside looking in on happy people, that we are excluded, because somehow we are different and don't belong.

We think only rich, beautiful, or lucky people get happiness, that it is uncommon and rare, and that life is too difficult, busy, frantic, and noisy to have time or room to be happy. This is a habitual thought process in which we have identified with problems, troubles, and mistakes; perhaps even feeling that we ourselves are a mistake! We have been taught that we have to make it alone, by ourselves, through rigid self sufficiency, pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We often think no one will help us, or wants to.

Many were wounded as children by parents, relatives, or friends; also by society, culture, and religion to the point that we learned the world was not a safe place. We internalized voices that created pain and suffering, and as we grew we developed a false self in reaction to this inner critic: a judgmental, negative, and condemning voice in our heads that told us that we were worthless; that our happiness was a reward and achievement we had to work long and hard to obtain.

This inner critic wages a personal attack on us, proclaiming that "You don't deserve happiness, you should be ashamed, you're worthless, one of the worst persons ever to walk the earth, the lowest of the low. You make everyone sick. You're a mess, a disease, a waste of air and water, just taking up valuable space, a scourge on the earth, a liar, a cheater, and a thief. You're awful, terrible, a fake, a fraud, and a joke. Only nobody's laughing because no one likes you!" The inner critic scolds us “You're ugly, stupid, wicked, guilty, and evil. A piece of crap, small, insignificant, less than zero. You were a rotten kid, and now you're a rotten adult. A bad parent, a crummy friend, an incompetent worker", and other lies like "You can't do anything right. You are a repulsive disgrace, a pathetic pervert, a taker, a useless user, a loser. No wonder you've been through so many relationships, as soon as someone gets to know the real you, they will dump you!"

   The good news, THE TRUTH IS: that's BULLSHIT! Everybody deserves happiness! Happiness is a gift you were given before time began, it is your inheritance. It has no opposite and is completely natural and fulfilling, it just is. You don't have to work, struggle, suffer, fight, wait, or achieve anything to have happiness. It's not a possession, reward, prize, or destination, it is waiting inside you to be discovered and enjoyed. Although we do have problems and make mistakes, we can make the choice to identify with the infinite knowledge, power, and presence that is our loving Higher Power, to which we connect through our Wonder Child and True Self.

   Your circumstances and situation are of no consequence in the realm of the infinite of which you are an essential part. In truth, we are not separate from others, nature, or Higher Power, rather we are an important aspect of all creation, intimately connected to and part of everything that is, was, and ever will be. We certainly don't have to go it alone, it wouldn't work anyway; a full and abundant life is always a group effort. It does take a village to raise a healthy child (and adult!), and connections and community.

   Your job here is to become your brightest, best, and most beautiful self! To be who you are, to connect with the joy of your soul, and spread it throughout the universe endlessly. There is nothing missing, broken, or flawed; you are complete, whole, and perfect as is. You have been suffering from a case of mistaken identity, mistaking yourself for the problems, disease, and insanity of the world. Choose now to identify with the solutions, well being, and sanity of your True Self.

You are not little, alone, or insignificant. You are the greatest, most glorious gift God has to give, a priceless treasure! The most beautiful, awesome, and amazing thing in existence! Not a peon or a slave, rather, a king or a queen with a kingdom you must rule. You are an angel, here to sing the praises of humanity and creation with your own special voice and vision, so everyone who will listen will hear and join in the joyous song.
Deep inside you know it's true. Tell yourself in the mirror and shout it out to the world!

   You are the creative principle that built the pyramids, mapped astronomy, discovered chemistry and mathematics, dared surgery, painted every masterpiece, and wrote every symphony. In fact, you and your life are a symphony, an ecstatic celebration of music, dance, and poetry; YOU are the greatest work of art ever made, and all of creation gives you a rousing cheer and standing ovation!