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 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

The self defeating mind

Our minds are set up for stability, for continuity. We preserve and protect the beliefs we learn as children. Yet we cause ourselves suffering as a result.

With the current state of our earthly cultures, is typical that we hold false beliefs about the world. We learn these beliefs as children, and rather than correct them as we gain independence, we preserve them. Our reward is membership in self-defeating communities.

Rather than question our beliefs and fears, we protect them. When the conflict of a false belief rises in our mind, we push it down. We use different strategies to distract ourselves from the conflict. We take risks, we overeat, we externalize it as blame. We put so much energy into avoiding our inner conflict.

To take the opposite approach and correct our beliefs, requires less effort than avoiding them. Yet it causes us much more discomfort than avoidance. If we don’t make that decision to bear the discomfort and correct our false beliefs, we only defeat ourselves. Along with the inner conflict, we also avoid the success we seek in life. Eventually, at the end of our time in our bodies, we have accumulated so much suffering and regret that there is little possibility of happiness.

The discomfort of lifelong struggle with ourselves, and a dissatisfying life, is our reward for not committing to a short lived greater discomfort. Its better that we make our choice based on the long term outcomes. A short term difficulty followed by more happiness – or life long dissatisfaction.

The self defeating mind