One of the things that we people have in common, is our desire to be happy.
Everything we ever wanted in life is to be happy.
Who never wanted to be happy?
Ed Diener said, “Happiness is not just a place but also a process. … Happiness is an ongoing process of fresh challenges, and… it takes the right attitudes and activities to continue to be happy.”
“I agree, don’t you?”
Regardless of whatever is happening in your life, the process of happiness always starts from acceptance. I’ve been in love with the idea of happiness all my life; love, dreams, travel, work, freedom, and peace. I always find myself trying to seek happiness in every aspect.
Just like others, I try my best to achieve all I wanted in life, but talking about reality, I realized that you cannot achieve all and even doing all you want isn’t enough for you to be happy not unless you’ll learn to accept these truths.
1. PEOPLE CHANGE
The world is revolving. As Shakespeare said, “If you want to catch your happiness, run faster”.
The world keeps on changing that is why most people find it so hard to be satisfied.
These changes bound people in constant pursuit of happiness. If you base your happiness on people, you will have a hard time to accept this. Happiness is normally based on feelings and these feelings are attained through relationships and connection to people.
There’s nothing wrong about pursuing happiness all along because it’s the main purpose of living. Yet we should know how to manage our emotions towards people to continue a positive living.
I remember the first time I got pregnant, I was 21 at that time. I just graduated from college, got my first regular job with a minimum salary, and had a long-distance relationship that eventually led me to become a single mom.
It was hard. All of these changes occurred in just one blink of an eye. I thought all my dreams and goals had been taken away from me. I had a hard time to accept my mistakes, changes in people and situations. During that transition, I took the time to understand what just happened, and I realized that I cannot lose myself from this. I have to stop blaming myself or others about what happened, and that I got to be strong enough for my child including myself.
“I need to grow up.”, that’s what I told to myself. Acceptance is what grown-ups usually do. I need to accept that people change, and that includes me a lot more than anyone else.
*If you learn to accept the truth about people, you’ll learn to accept that you also need a change for yourself and that may lead you to recover happiness.
2. EVERYTHING HAS ITS LIMIT
Happiness is often defined as “a state of well-being and contentment” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). Since it is a part of our life, it becomes part of us, and it is free.
We are free to be happy and some people take advantage of it.
Ever wonder what real happiness is?
I’ve been in search of real happiness my whole life and for all I’ve experienced, happiness is an uncontrolled emotion. And it means, we can only feel it and we can decide whether or not we will do something about it.
Happiness is both feeling good and feeling right, but there’s a big difference between them.
The happiness that “feels good but does not feel right” will never remain in your life, it might be for a second, an hour, month or years but it is not yours forever. It will always have limits and most of the time, it came from wrong and bad sources. It is only a feeling and this kind of happiness comes with a feeling of guilt.
Most people are selfish, we are born selfish, and that is why we incorporate happiness once we personally experience something good. Clearly, by all means, misunderstood happiness.
Carl Jung said, “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness.”
We may feel good but it may not feel right at the same time and there will come a bigger problem ahead of us. EVERYTHING HAS ITS LIMIT IF YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.
Regardless of how good it feels that happiness brings us if it does not feels right, surely it came from wrong sources, the time will come that it will teach us lessons that we will remember forever, or worst, people remember us because of it. It is up to you how you will learn from it.
I remember what my friend told me about what his father told them when he came back home after 5 years of having an affair with other woman. They were at her mother’s funeral. Her father said, “I was a coward. Choosing the easiest way, believing that I could escape this mess and be free. I was wrong, I’ve never slept a day without thinking of you and your mom, hoping to live my life whole again.”
“Happiness is feeling good and feeling right at the same time.”
If you are not happy right now, try to assess every aspect of your life where you are not drawing limitations on yourself. That may be a big reason why.
3. YOU CAN’T CONTROL THINGS
For most of us, even simple things in life can make us happy. That’s why to be happy is not a difficult thing to do. The biggest challenge is fighting for it, most of the time, it may not be an easy thing to do.
Perhaps, life is not always happy as it seems. Regardless of whatever it is, that makes us happy and no matter how hard we try to pursue it, there will always be something that stops us and before we know it, happiness will always be stolen away from us.
That is why we have to accept that there are some things that we cannot control.
Like, negative thoughts…
Negative thoughts live within our minds. It can affect the way we see things and influence us on how to react to a certain situation. This is just one example that we cannot control especially when things are getting worse around us.
Words in our minds become thoughts, thoughts become behavior, behavior becomes moments, moments that are mostly the biggest part of our lives. If you want to be happy, you should never tolerate negativity and always associate positive thoughts in whatever you do.
When you slip and fall, the first thing you’ll do is to get up and stand, no matter how hard and painful the fall. Why? because you always wanted to get out of something uncomfortable, because you literally need to do something to achieve the most important goal of living, which is to be happy.
We cannot control how we fall but we always have a choice to get up and fix ourselves. That the irony of this. If you cannot control things around you, the only thing you can control is yourself. So happiness lies in how you react to things not how you handle things.
Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 99% how you react”.
4. YOUR PAST DOES NOT DEFINE WHO YOU ARE
In the past few years, we lived in a decade of change. Technology, Fashion, business strategies and people, they require change.
What you do now does not necessarily to be the same 1 year or even 10 years later. Even situations will change, and when you look back to the memories, nothing stays the same as it used to be. No matter how hard the change is, just make sure it is always for the better.
“You are not what happened to you, you are what you choose to become”. Carl Jung
I was scrolling Facebook the other day and found a notification of my memories section 5 years ago, the posts I did and the things that happened came back at me. And as I looked back on those days, I suddenly felt the pain of the struggle, sorrow, anger, and regrets. But I knew that these are all just faulty feelings that were coming back, these feelings are ghosts from the past. I understood that immediately and if I choose to entertain them again, they will continue to hunt me down.
Those days were hard. And as the days went by, I took courage to accept the truth and decided to leave the past from there. I had gone a long way far and there is no way to go back. I’ve survived everything and it is all done.
That’s what I always remind myself everytime the ghosts appears in front of me; I am proud of what I’ve become today and will becoming in the future because of acceptance.
YOUR PAST DOES NOT DEFINE YOUR FUTURE. FOCUS ON THE POSSIBILITIES OF DISCOVERING THE BEST OF WHO YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.
You just have to accept this truth to be happy and someday you’ll be in awe of everything.
How you are going to do that? Just simply live forward and leave the past behind.
The past is part of life that we will always remember, a memory and we do not have the power to erase that. We could look back but we cannot go rewind time.
Past mistakes cannot be changed but it can be fixed by acceptance, forgiveness and by moving forward to the future.
Acceptance requires a decision of choosing what’s the best for you. All of these were gone and you are required to proceed to live the new you every single day.