As I prepare for my workshop “Loving Yourself is the Key to True Happiness” this month in Maui, I have been thinking and talking about happiness and what makes me happy. Is it possible to be happy all the time? I believe that happiness is an inside job and it doesn’t depend upon outside circumstances i.e. how much money I make, my job, how I look, where I live, how other people treat me, etc. Of course, being out of work or not having enough money to pay the rent or buy food, or suffering from depression or a chronic illness will make it more difficult to feel happy.
Happiness is a choice that I choose to make for myself every day. I have a picture in my living room that says “The purpose of life is to be happy.” It is a false belief to think that when things change, (a new job, relationship, more money), I will be happy. The truth is that when I am happy, things will change. I asked myself, “Am I only happy when things are going my way and I am getting what I want in life? Can I be happy when things aren’t going my way and there is a lot on my plate?”
I believe the answer is yes if I stay in an attitude of gratitude, knowing that whatever I am experiencing is for my highest good and soul’s growth. It is not easy but it is a daily decision to live in the moment, to let go, trust God, not complain, worry, and live in fear. I have read that we are as happy as we want to be. I don’t know about you, but I want to be as happy as I can be.
I can truly say that I have never been happier in my life. I do believe that is partly because I have learned to love myself and give myself what I need. I have learned to not depend on others to make me happy. Sure, I am living my dream and manifested my soul mate and am living in a beautiful home on the ocean. That certainly makes me very happy – and that took 15 years to manifest. But if I am honest, before I manifested this, I was happy and grateful for my life as it was. Is that the key – to be grateful, content and happy where I am, and with what I have, and still be open to receive more abundance, new possibilities and new horizons in my life?
There are many activities that contribute to my happiness such as spending time and connecting with family and friends, using my gifts in the world, just BEING, seeing a beautiful sunset, playing at the ocean, relaxing, taking a hot bath, sipping a glass of wine over dinner, dancing, getting a massage, writing, praying and meditating, laughing and having fun, reading a good book, swimming in the hotel pools in Maui, eating dark chocolate or a delicious dinner, to name a few.
I recently had an opportunity to practice an attitude of gratitude, even though I didn’t like what was happening and I wasn’t happy about it. I had a mammogram and wasn’t expecting to hear that they found something and I needed to return for another mammogram and a sonogram. At first, I tried to jump over my feelings and went directly to trust. I didn’t want to feel my feelings, but within a short time, the fear, disappointment and anger surfaced and I was able to process my feelings in a safe and loving place. It was distressing because I had a pre-cancerous lump in my breast 20 years ago and I didn’t know if something new had developed.
Once I allowed myself to feel my feelings and to process and release them, I was able to let go, trust and feel happy again. Even though I didn’t know what the results would be, especially since the tests weren’t scheduled for 6 weeks later, I felt peaceful. I could have worried and been sick about it if I had not chosen to let go and trust. Worrying is a form of disbelief and it is not loving myself when I worry and obsess about something.
I had the mammogram and sonogram yesterday and after being on the table for ½ hour was delighted when the radiologist said, “This is good news, we cannot see anything.” During the procedure, I just kept repeating, “Thank you God, thank you God over and over again.
My primary relationship is with myself. Self-love is the baseline of happiness. When we live from a space of self-love, we are able to develop healthy, loving relationships, because our internal feelings of abundance will reflect back to us in the form of beautiful relationships, purpose-driven work and financial freedom. Self- love puts us on the fast track to healing. Our work is to clear out false beliefs about ourselves and shift them back to a loving perspective on life, which reveals our perfection and wholeness.
I believe that the more I love myself, and truly embrace myself as the perfect, whole and creative being that I am – others will return that love. Everyone in my life is a mirror of my consciousness. They can only be as loving, respectful and good to me as I am to myself. When I learn to love myself, I will receive the love and appreciation that I desire from others.
When I am committed to loving myself, living my truth and knowing what I want, I will be happy and attract others with equal commitment. When we truly love ourselves and give ourselves the love we need, we will be so full that when we give to another, we will give from our hearts true love, pure joy and compassion.
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Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
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