Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Happiness Is An Inside Job

Today is the 35th anniversary of John Lennon's death. I had planned on posting about something else here today until I was looking up an image of Lennon to post on my other blog's Facebook page when I came across the above quote attributed to him: "Happiness is inside you, not with another person."

Something interesting to note before I get into the nitty gritty of this post is that both Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, were big believers in using the power of your mind to change the world. It would make for a great post another time. I don't know if either one of them used the phrase "law of attraction" but both believed that if enough people on the planet focused on peace, then it would have come to fruition. The song "Mind Games" is all about this potential scenario. (On a side note, I believe it's been said that if all children were taught to meditate and focus on peace, then all war would end within a few generations. But again, a good topic for another time.)

Back to Lennon's happiness quote -- he was absolutely right, as I've read the same thing over and over again in many law of attraction books and have heard it in videos. I've also heard dating coaches say it. And yet, it's one of the hardest things (I have found) to learn and put into practice on a consistent, daily basis.

Why? Because so much of what we've been trained to think of in order to obtain happiness is conditional. A lot of people (and I used to be one of them) have a case of the "I'll be happy whens"...i.e. "I'll be happy when I get some money", "I'll be happy when I find a job", "I'll be happy when I find a new place to live", "I'll be happy when I get a boyfriend/girlfriend", etc. 

All of the teachings I've learned about stress the importance of being happy now, before the desire shows up. In fact, many advocate that you won't attract what you want until you are able to be happy first without having it.  

Ugh. The childhood phrase, "Do I have to?" comes to mind. It's so hard sometimes for me to put it into practice. But so true. 

The thing is, everything that can come into our life that we believe will make us happy can also leave our life at the snap of the fingers. We can lose our job, a lover can break up with us, or death can take a loved one away from us. The ability to maintain inner happiness no matter what is going on in our life is one of the toughest things to master. 

I also totally get it from the relationship perspective. In order to attract a partner that is happy and well adjusted, you need to be happy and well adjusted yourself. You wouldn't want to date someone who's miserable, would you? And you can't be feeling desperate to be with a partner. The same goes for attracting friendships, too. I ended up years ago becoming friends with a woman who was very unhappy with her life, dwelling on her past and everything that was wrong, and the more I hung out with her and our other friends, the more miserable she seemed to get. She would also disagree with me on the most minor topics and was getting increasingly argumentative -- it finally reached a point where I had had enough and cut my ties with her. I absolutely couldn't deal with the negative vibes that she was putting out there. 

Plus, it's important to remember that wealth does not guarantee automatic happiness. A few weeks ago I watched the Barbara Walters interview with Donald Trump on ABC (because I was curious) and he revealed something very interesting. He said a majority of his friends -- very wealthy people like him -- were vastly unhappy. He said he knew a lot of rich people that are really unhappy in their marriages, and have children that are abusing drugs and have all sorts of problems. I have also read about people that won a windfall in the lottery only to end up as unhappy and unfulfilled as they were before the win, and losing most of it. 

So how can we get happy first before what we desire to attract shows up? I have found that the quickest and easiest way is to focus on what I do have in my life, and not pay attention to what seems to be "missing." I may not currently have a full-time job and partner, but I do have my health, a healthy weight, a roof over my head, my family, friends, and a few streams of freelance income. I'm creative and I have my love of writing, and have been learning a lot of skills that I can include on my resume. 

I also try to find the positive in situations that others might see as negative. For example, while I was a little shell shocked when I lost my job, eventually I felt relief at knowing I would no longer have to do some tasks that I didn't find fulfilling while I was there. There also was little opportunity for advancement, and being out of work has, among other things, allowed me more time to write, which I love to do, and make out a list of what I loved and loathed about my last position to help me create in my mind what the next job should look like and what I will love about it. 

Just being grateful for what's there, and what we currently have control over, can make all the difference. 

Listening to some favorite music -- particularly by the Beatles and John Lennon -- helps, too. 

1 comment:

  1. The older I get I do have to agree with that our happiness is dependent on one person and one person only. Ourselves.


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