When was the last time you tasted it?
And when you did taste happiness, did it leave some bitterness later?
Have you ever watched a soap opera where the young couple finally get together only to have one of them drive off a cliff in the next scene?
Have you ever watched the hunk of a hero you were rooting for make it to the very last minute of a movie only to be gobbled by a zombie?
Have you ever have a friend tell you that they are in love and you mentally roll your eyes and say to yourself, “Oh, that’ll last 20 minutes”.
When the holidays come around do you feel more dread than happiness?
If you meet a potential partner whether online or in person, do you ever think, “Yeah, but what’s wrong with them?”
Do you believe that you can’t have happiness without something really awful and crappy happen in order to balance out the universe?
Are you afraid of happiness?
Are you afraid of too much happiness?
Do you feel like a sucker?
That’s okay if you do. I was a sucker. I was a happiness sucker.
In my life, there have been many great events and memories. But it’s funny, the ones that shook me to my core were the horrible and painful ones. I didn’t realize that at the time I built the habit of connecting the awful events to the closest happy memories from around the same time.
For example, when I received a grant to produce one of my first films, my dog was hit by a car and killed. Later during another time in my life, my husband and I were awarded some big film work and the next day, my mother had a heart attack. Further along in my life, when we tried to get pregnant the first time, it happened like a miracle. Before I could fully enjoy the dream of motherhood, I experienced the nightmare of my first miscarriage.
Over time, any special event or holiday, I was just waiting for the Universe’s response of “I’m gonna get you sucker”.
Happiness made me feel nervous and fearful.
At least with awful events, I had certainty. I was certain they were going to happen. I was certain it was going to suck for a long time. And then after a second of happiness, it would happen again soon enough. And when it did, I got to claim, “I knew it!”
This certainty sucked. In my gut, my intuition told me this wasn’t any way to live.
What turned my life around, ironically, was death.
After a series of events of losing my parents, having 3 miscarriages, losing pets, friends, co-workers, and mere acquaintances it came to me in the smallest moment.
My husband and I had lost a film friend to a motorcycle accident and we had just returned from his service. There was nothing to be done. Our friend died doing what he loved and always was in a state of happiness. He was contagious. He was bigger than life.
I was at a loss of what to do next. Phone games had just started and I played Bejeweled for the first time. I probably played for 10 minutes. But in those ten minutes, I didn’t think about the horrible past or the frightening future. I simply thought about what little pixel jewels I had in front of me. I asked my husband to play and he hated video games, but even for a few moments he experienced peace and happiness.
That’s when I got my first taste of happiness in that present moment.
Now, when happiness comes my way, I become aware of that moment only and I don’t look for trouble in the past or future. When life gets challenging and difficult, I take a breath and I practice gratitude that I can still breath on my own without a machine. When life gets ugly as it will sometimes, I ask myself a question. How can I use this to make my life better? If I’m too tired or frustrated, I just ask again later.
By taking a moment to think about how you feel about happiness you will help create an awareness about your happiness habits.
Think about it?
Do you think you deserve happiness?
Does too much happiness make you feel uneasy?
When you do feel happiness, are you waiting for something bad to happen?
If you said yes to any of the above, then there is room for happiness without conditions. Sucker-free happiness.
It all begins where you keep your focus. If you focus on what is happening now in the present moment and cultivate gratitude for whatever is happening, this creates your own wellbeing and happiness. Keep doing it moment to moment and overtime, you will be able to feel chill with taste of happiness.
And when things come unexpectedly as they do in life, you will be able to observe what is happening but also focus on what good or happiness can come from the event.
So as you go throughout your day, find the smallest things you can be happy for or grateful for. And if you can’t then do something kind for someone else and instantly you will feel the joy unconditionally.
Then keep going to the next moment and the next. Until you are asleep. Then do it again.
By conditioning yourself that happiness is an option without the drama or pain, you create more of it. Not the sappy happy Pollyanna happiness, but true happiness that feels honest and resonates with your soul. And that’s pretty tasty and sucker-free. So go get it. Namaste.