The Secret of Happiness

Happiness is what we have when we have nothing to be unhappy about.

Happiness is the natural human state of mind.

Yet many of us don’t have much happiness, and we don’t really know why.

Yet, we can choose to be unhappy, or choose to not be unhappy. It is something we can have total power over.

Those of us who are unhappy, often are unhappy about things we cannot change. It is as if we WANT to be unhappy, and have chosen the most effective way to be unhappy!

Perhaps we feel that life is meant to be unhappy – or that we deserve to be unhappy. I wholeheartedly assert that these 2 beliefs are totally false! – they will keep us from happiness as surely as gravity holds us to the earth.

Being unhappy about past events – that will surely keep us unhappy. And for what purpose? We can’t change it! So the only reason to be unhappy about it, is for the purpose of being unhappy!

Being unhappy about other people is another unfallible way to be unhappy. We can only truly change ourselves, so let’s give up on the impossible and return to happiness.

So – how to stop being unhappy about things we can’t change?

We can search within ourselves – to find those thoughts and beliefs that give us unhappy feelings, and re-decide those beliefs. If we find past versions of ourselves, trapped at the source of the unhappiness, we can rescue them, reunite them with our true self in the now. If we find a belief as the source of unhappiness, we can expose that belief to our current wisdom and logic, and change it to match the truth according to the evidence of our present – rather than the emotion of the past.

It took time to build up our sources of unhappiness. One by one we piled them up. And one by one we can remove them. We can decide to persevere, to make the effort to clean up the mess in our mind’s house.

Happiness is our rightful state of mind. Our birthright. Happiness awaits our effort to discard those things that keep us from being our true selves.

The Secret of Happiness

The mind must choose to follow the heart

I was laying back, thinking about parts of my mind that wont yet accept the authority of my hearts guidance. I suggested to my heart that it just force those parts of my mind to obey.

My heart immediately caused me to understand that it cannot, it is not allowed to do that.
The mind must heal itself, and choose to follow the heart. It cannot be forced. Forced cooperation is no cooperation at all.
Only the mind that has chosen to follow the hearts guidance – a united mind, void of internal conflict – truly has the capacity to follow the hearts guidance.
An unwilling subject is an incompetent subject. It cannot be any other way.

So, the mind must be healed and united, by seeking out and resolving internal conflicts.
For this process, an essential tool is provided: Emotion, the internal conflict seeker.

The mind must choose to follow the heart

Trauma and Recovery

When we suffer the trauma of abuse or other experiences that are overwhelmingly unpleasant, we dissociate. This is a natural mechanism that allows us to survive trauma.
But, dissociation is only the first half of surviving trauma.

Later, when the danger has passed, we must reassociate. We must return to the trauma in our mind and rejoin with the emotional effect of it. In this way we can bring together the parts of our mind that was split by the traumatic experience.

Once rejoined, that part of our mind can again function normally and contribute to our improved survival. We can get on with life.

This mechanism to deal with trauma is quite amazing. We naturally and unconsciously separate our response to trauma into 2 pieces in our mind. Its automatic. The physical experience cant be postponed, but the emotional effect in the mind can be separated and put safely aside. Later, the emotional effect, which was separated and postponed, can be dealt with at our convenience. Its so great we have this naturally inbuilt mechanism to protect our mind from the full effect of traumatic experiences.

When the trauma is too great, we simply can’t cope with both the physical and emotional trauma simultaneously. Splitting allows us to cope, and later we can return in physical safety to complete the process of survival.

Yet, if we dont return later and rejoin the separated parts of our mind that hold the trauma, we remain ‘damaged’ (uncompleted) and cannot return fully to our lives.
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I want to thank Athena and Bobbi from traumarecoveryuniversity.com for inspiring this realization in me. I was watching their 2 hour video special on accepting the reality of abuse. As always, their videos inspire light bulbs in my understanding.

Trauma and Recovery

The mind vs. inner peace

Since before we developed writing, we have pursued ways to avoid the suffering of unpleasant feelings.

Each individual first notices that certain things distract from those feelings. So we become addicted to these distractions. Yet, eventually, we realize these addictions inevitably increase our unpleasant feelings. Our minds try to restrict our addictions and our suffering increases.

Then, we notice these unpleasant feelings are associated with certain thoughts. We notice ways to distract ourselves from these thoughts, and becomes addicted to them. We build our lives around these avoidance strategies and they become our master. Inevitably, these lifestyle strategies bring us more unpleasant feelings, or suffering, than we originally tried to avoid. Our minds try to restrict those parts of our lifestyle that cause our suffering, yet our suffering increases. We experience powerlessness.

Then, we try to find the source of the thoughts that cause unpleasant feelings, so as to stop them from arising. We seek in the spiritual teachings of other minds, the ways to remove these thoughts from our own minds. We become addicted to this search. We may, in this search, learn that giving up the control of our lives to an external master reduces our suffering, but doesn’t remove it completely. We may realize that we cannot control our mind, by the power of our mind. Regardless of the kind of spiritual practice we take on, we find some inner peace, yet suffering still persists.

We do all this, while knowing from childhood experience, that physically expressing our unpleasant feeling quickly ends the suffering of that moment. Yet, instead of allowing this natural process to occur, we live for our addictions and give up our self determination to external masters just to avoid that feeling of grief.

Then, only because everything our mind tried has failed, and we have totally run out of ideas, we finally allow the release of the emotion we were avoiding all our lives – only when all other strategies have failed and we have given up in desperation. We are instantly transformed and soon realize that our emotions, especially grief, alone have the power to rapidly repair our mind and its thinking – emotions are the immune system of our minds. As our minds are allowed to heal, we are gradually introduced to our inner master, and eventually, inevitably, no longer require any outer master of addiction, lifestyle or religion.

Then, we become our true selves.

The mind vs. inner peace

Thought, beliefs, memories and feelings

Understanding the relationship between thoughts, beliefs, memories and feelings helps us to see how we are going in our healing.

At the surface, in our lives we notice feelings. It is our feelings that determine how we go about our lives. Too much negative feelings will hold us down and prevent us from progressing in our lives. Positive feelings will allow us to go for what we really want in life.

When we observe ourselves, we see that certain feelings are associated with certain thoughts. We can observe the associations, the patterns in our thinking. It can be hard to see how these thoughts begin. It is important to understand that it starts with our memory being triggered.

Things in our environment often remind us of a memory. Our mind is set up to work this way in order to understand the world, help us to avoid harm and allow us to find more good things. If that memory has a negative feeling associated with it, we will feel that feeling. Then the feeling can trigger other memories with that feeling, and we spiral into negativity. This is only possible if we have many memories with negative feelings attached to them. Alternatively, if we have a lot of positive memories, they can be triggered to spiral into positivity and empowerment – something we enjoy and often not want to change.

These memories are in turn, associated with beliefs, which are expectations of an experience being repeated. Beliefs are based on our observation of patterns of experiences, as well as things we have learned from others – such as things we are told as children by those we depend on. Having a belief that a negative experience will happen again will amplify the negative feeling, far above the actual feeling attached to the memory. No matter how big the feeling, it always has a negative memory at its core.

If we want to interrupt this process of spiraling negativity, we can remove the triggers of the negative memories, or we can remove the negative emotions from the memories. We can also correct the beliefs, the amplifiers of our memories. We can find a new environment where the negative memories are not so often triggered. This will make the problem occur less often. Trying to remind ourselves of positive things will only hold off the negative memories for a while. Its a short term solution that doesnt solve our problem.

The only long term fix for this issue is to remove the negative emotion from the triggered memories. Then, when these memories are triggered, they cannot cause us to feel negative. We remain positive and empowered. Correcting beliefs alone will not fix the core problem. It will make the negativity reaction we have much less, but it will still occur.

The natural mechanism for removing negative emotion from memories is crying. When we cry we are actually grieving the loss of some part of our selves, our life. The more negative experiences we have had, the more crying we need to do to heal it. When we cry, we also correct the beliefs associated with the memory, because once the emotion is removed from the memory, it becomes easy for the mind to correct the beliefs associated with the likelihood of it reoccurring.

There are so many methods to help us more quickly and easily identify and correct our beliefs, emotional memories, and generally dig things up to be healed. Yet most important of all is our inbuilt tool of crying, to remove emotion from memories, so that all of the mindset that rests upon that memory collapses. We benefit greatly from using methods we learn for healing ourselves emotionally, and they assist, and help our inbuilt tools of crying, dreaming and memory-revision. These methods can help us identify memories that are hard to uncover, and save us a huge amount of time.

Thought, beliefs, memories and feelings

The feeling of not belonging anywhere

some of us just cant find a place to fit in, and in the rare times we feel at home somewhere, it doesnt last.

it is a logical conclusion that the belief that we dont belong anywhere will lead to this experience of life. This is true for all beliefs: if we have them, we will be able to observe the logical expression of them in our lives.

For us who cannot belong because of this belief, we will regularly move on to new places and situations, we will be restless and unable to settle down. All because of one belief.

We may also hold this belief in more than one way. Perhaps we use a guided visualization, alone or with another, and heal one aspect of this in our lives – but then find that nothing changes. We must find all the instances of this belief in ourselves. This includes all the versions of it, some of which are here:

I dont belong here. I dont belong anywhere. I dont fit it. I cant stay here. Its dangerous here. This is not the place for me. Im searching for my home. I shouldnt be here. I cant settle down. I cant connect with this person, place or situation.

There are many more versions of this belief that can affect us. We will experience a feeling, an emotional response to the ones that affect us, when we read or say them. We can work on those.

The feeling of not belonging anywhere

Memories of fear

At times, we may feel fear, when it either doesn’t make any sense at all, or it is unnecessarily strong. In these situation we are experiencing a memory of fear. This is a memory of a past event where we experienced fear, yet we have suppressed the memory and are only aware of the fear.

In response to traumatic experiences, our minds can use the technique of separating consciousness. This allows us to forget the experience and survive until we are safe. We are able to put things out of our mind, so that we can focus on protecting ourselves or getting to safety.

The mind takes enough consciousness to contain the emotion of the experience, and places it inside the memory, and files it away. This is the mechanism of intentional forgetting. The consciousness in that memory remains there, stuck at that time, but it is still connected to us.Also it still has access to our 6 physical senses*, and if it notices a situation that reminds it of the initial trauma, it will trigger the feeling in the memory. We will feel fear, yet not understand why.

The stronger the emotion held by the memory, the stronger the emotion felt in the present. Triggering extreme trauma can result in a panic attack. This is possible because consciousness is not actually divisible. We are separate emotions in the same way waves in water are separate. The same is true for our mind. Those forgotten memories cannot be completely separated.

These forgotten memories retain their emotion, often affecting our lives in negative ways. They remain this way until we retrieve and heal them. We can do this once we have found safety, yet our culture teaches us to never allow this healing.

To heal these memories, we need to allow the emotion when it arises. It may be as simple as grieving the emotion away. In some cases we don’t even remember the memory. Other times we need to use healing tools to trace the feel I to its memory. Some therapists have these skills, but most do not. Once we acquire these tools, we can use them ourselves. Whatever way we heal, grieving is required to clear the trapped emotion. We must allow ourselves to cry.

Therapists that are trained to help with PTSD from childhood or war trauma are more likely to know the tools required to clear emotion from intentionally forgotten beliefs.

The mechanism of forgetting, and later healing, is quite simple and easy to understand. Not so easy to do. Its really worth the effort! Initially, emotion released can be overwhelming, but it passes each time, and decreases as healing progresses.

* as well as the 5 physical senses we learn about, there is a sixth. We are a receiver and transmitter of electromagnetic energy and possess a complex energy field. We can send and receive a lot of information with this tool. Also, there is our connection with universal consciousness, that can be interpreted as a non physical sense.

Memories of fear