Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Value of Happiness

I am a happy person. Even when I'm not happy, I'm happy. Huh? What's that mean? No, I don't mean I'm happy all the time. For God's sakes that would annoy even me!  It's not that I never feel frustrated, angry, hurt, scared, insecure...... Of course not, but what I do mean is that in my core, where I live emotionally IS happiness.  How did I drive that emotion in my core? How did it become my core despite the dramas and traumas that I have experienced and that life inevitably brings to us all?  I believe one reason is because I hold happiness as one of my highest values. Happiness as a value? I know, it sounds weird, because most of us don't define it as a value. We may identify family, friends, God, a strong work ethic, time for ourselves or contribution as our values just to name a few. But, how these other values show up in our lives, I believe, is directly related to the emotional states we value. So, if we don't highly value a great quality state of emotion, how can all our other values be experienced to their highest potential? I don't believe they can.  
"There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion." Carl Jung
So, what about you? How much do you value happiness? How do you know if you do or not? Does this sound like you:  "If I allow myself to be happy something bad will happen then I'll be devastated, it's better to be prepared."  You know, the "waiting for the other shoe to drop" idea.  Or, how about: "If I allow myself to feel and show happiness others might take advantage of me, or I might not be respected." This one I like to call "Elle Woods Syndrome". Remember Elle Woods in Legally Blonde? The epitome of happiness, yet so judged by others. Some of us don't don't believe we have anything to be happy about. We all know at least one soul like that don't we? The downers, the complainers, the negative Nellies. Oh sure, we've all visited there right? But, where are you spending most of your time emotionally?  We feel what we focus on, our experience of life is determined by the meaning we give things and the emotional states we choose to value. (Yes, I said choose!)
There is much we cannot choose in this life; things we have have no control over. We cannot control what others do or say, what they think of us or not think of us. But, we can control 100% what we feel, the meanings we give things, the values we hold. If we choose to value happiness, or gratitude, or joy, or peace as our primary values just think how that could impact all the other aspects of our lives, you know, the other values we hold dear? It also serves as a foundation when pain inevitably does arrive in our lives.   
It's holiday time again. I am always amazed how fast time flies. Life is short my friends; please don't waste it! Look around, look in, look up, look down. What do you have to be happy about right now? What might you be taking for granted? What do you need to remember to be happy and grateful for? Right now, in this moment, see it, hear it, it's Thanksgiving, so smell it and taste it too!  Now feel it!  Got it? Feeling it? Guess what, I knew it; nothing bad happened! Now just do that over and over and over.......Happy Holidays Everyone! 

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