This is what I call my riff on happiness and self-acceptance. It came out of a maddening conversation with a client who has struggled with finding happiness and feeling as if he is never enough.
How can you be happy if it’s never enough, not ok enough, good enough, successful enough, famous enough, good looking enough, rich enough, thin enough, pain free enough, firm enough, enough enough?
How can you be happy if you are in a perpetual state of wanting, comparing, and judging?
How can you be happy if you are always looking for the greener grass as you hopscotch over your life?
How can you be happy if you cannot see the present (read: gift) in the present (time) then you are adrift and perpetually grasping for a future possibility or a past something?
Happiness requires gratitude. It also requires being in the moment and in the flow, like kids playing. Happiness is all about allowing and accepting what is. There is no struggle, no resistance, no whining.
Happiness does not mean we roll over and ignore injustice and inequity with a situation (I can hear your brains working), but, and here’s the big B, we need to accept the situation as is, and, then, choose how we will address it, change it, and/or deal with it. We cause a great deal of our own unhappiness by not accepting what is. Plain and simple, we want it to be different; to our liking and, sometimes, many times, life does not turn out that way.
Yes, we can resist, whine, and be ungrateful and still open the door to moments of happiness. I know, I have been The Queen of Resistance and still managed to find happiness, but that damn resistance, which is nothing more than calcified (frequently unconscious) fear creates a roadblock. That said, I have also concluded that resistance is a part of the process of acclimation to new ways of thinking and being. If I work my way through my wall of defenses, I learn a thing or two.
Someone wise once said, “Happiness is an inside job.” We know good sex starts in the brain first (really, think of all those hormones and neurotransmitters and the like) and so does happiness. Can we reprogram ourselves to be happier? Yes, indeed. How?
Open your heart. Practice gratitude. Be generous. Broaden your perspective. Release judgment. Embrace compassion. Be kind. Act as if…until you get there.
Everyone is trying to put one foot in front of the other. We are all connected; all struggling in our own idiosyncratic ways to feel emotionally safe and find a sense of wholeness and well being.
And the bottom line:
You are enough. I am enough. We are enough. Period. End of sentence.
Can you take the quantum leap and accept that at this very moment in time, no matter what egregious offenses and sins and bad decisions you have made, no matter what unconscious or intentional craziness you have caused, you are enough, right now — no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Enough.
Can you forgive yourself for every stupid, cruel, and embarrassing thing you did and move on? Can you understand that everything you did, you did with the consciousness – and pain — you had at the time? It happened; it is now in the past.
The important thing is that you learn from it. And the learning includes an enormous dose of self-compassion and self-acceptance. Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung told us that the first step in creating change is to accept ourselves in our entirety – contradictions, complexities, conundrums, and all.
Did you know that current psychological research tells us that self-compassion may matter more than self-esteem? It is now being considered an important life skill that brings about our resilience, courage, and creativity.
This makes sense; you cannot move on, grow, and develop until you accept yourself. Self-compassion and self-acceptance are the keys to the kingdom of happiness.
If you accept this thinking, as of this very moment, your consciousness is expanding; your perspective is growing bigger and more loving. It’s up to you; it can be a new ball game now because your eyes – and heart — are open.
You are a human being whose breath is animated by a divine spark. You are here to shine, just by being you. No great operas, no mad stunts, or walks across the world stage are needed. Just by being you, you are enough — more than enough. It’s a crazy, wild, and radical thought. Can you accept the idea? Can you accept you?
You are enough. You are more than enough. You are a spark of the divine.