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

Heart: want, Mind: should

The heart only cares about want, and not want – it is clear and direct, unambiguous.

The mind cares about should – and shouldn’t – it presents many conflicting points of view, filling your life with a confusing audiovisual stream, accompanied by a confrontational dialogue of words.

Only the heart can present clarity in the midst of this chaotic mindset, never needing words to communicate its wishes.

Heart: want, Mind: should

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

Self-destructive behavior

It is increasingly understood that self-destructive behavior is an expression of past child abuse or trauma. Yet it seems illogical that survivors of abuse would harm themselves rather than the abuser.

But, on the level of energy, self-destructive behavior makes sense.

We store the essence of our life experiences in our bodies. We can also hide unpleasant past experiences by reducing our connection to that part of the body that stores the essence of that experience. That part of our body is also less connected to our physical immunity and is more susceptible to disease and illness.

After we have survived our traumatic experiences and find a relatively safe life situation, our body’s emotional tools begin to heal the effect of the trauma. We go through the stages of shock, anger, sadness, grief and finally re-empowerment. The essence of the traumatic experience is transformed into an even deeper essence on the spiritual level, that allows our spirit to understand cause and effect, and allows us to avoid actions that lead to harmful outcomes. Most simply, we learn from our experiences at the deepest level and our spirit retains this lesson. Our being returns to a peaceful state and the parts of our body that held that essence return to their normal wellness.

However, in order to survive the extended trauma of war, our culture teaches us to suppress emotional expression, especially negative emotions, and especially crying – we are taught to ‘harden our hearts’. Faced with these restrictions on our self-expression, we turn to deeper defense mechanisms such as self-destructive behavior. It simply stems from the unwavering desire to process the essence of the trauma. That essence must be moved, released, processed, one way or another. We turn to self-destructive behavior to give essential attention to the agitated body. It is like scratching an itch until it is an open wound. We may continue with self-destructive behavior until it becomes another traumatic phase in our life.

On a cultural level, a nation will eventually self-destruct if it cannot find a way out of this self-defeating trap. This final, worst-case outcome protects the human species from groups that follow a non-peaceful path – they will eventually destroy themselves, and the culture that preserves their self-destructive behavior weakens and collapses.

Without understanding why we engage in self-destructive behavior, we cannot easily break out of that strategy, that habit. We remain unaware of the consequence of the cultural restrictions on our emotional expression. We remain a victim of our trauma or abuse until we reject the guidance of our ignorant culture.

Once we encounter information about the cause of our self-destructive behavior, we can return to our emotional healing mechanisms and recover from the past trauma. Starting our recovery, we also end the journey of that trauma from generation to generation, because we become the one that stops the cycle of abuse and trauma. We are not only healing ourselves, but we open the door of healing for those around us and for our culture. More than becoming a recovering individual, we become a healing node in our culture.

Self-destructive behavior