Why are we unhappy? On the “desire” to be happy
Have you ever wondered why we so often tell ourselves – “I’m fed up with this job”, “I’m fed up with these extra 10 kilograms hanging from my belly”, “I’m not happy in my relationships”,” I want change”, “I’m going to make it happen”! And so we become engrossed in this wonderful feeling that slowly cocoons our whole body in its warmth. The one promising new beginnings, opportunities ahead, we imagine our new life unfolding in front of us giving us the warm glow of hope. And so the new adventure firmly laid out for us we begin the planning process – for hours we sit googling all the wonderful opportunities of arriving at our goal, make plans, start doing things and changes slowly begin to happen.. What a great feeling! We continue creating (running, reading self-development books, sending out our Resumes, attending sewing courses, etc.) for a while… And then we suddenly realize that we have made almost no real progress in achieving our goals.
Why is that? Or let’s rephrase the question and pose a very specific one – “Why the desire to be happy is so strong but it’s not quite working out despite all our efforts”? The answer is really simple – key word here being the “desire”.
We can sit there and want to be happy or… we can be happy – and these are two distinctly different things.
When I heard this phrase for the first time I thought it was a little absurd but upon closer examination the thought actually makes perfect sense and has potential to free up a lot of activation energy. Because if we really think about it and look at our inner feeling we uncover that the feeling of “wanting” and the feeling of “having” are two very different feelings.
One fills us up with anticipation and dreams of something we don’t yet have, the “wish” for something that isn’t yet present in our lives. The second one – is the feeling of having everything we want right now, the one of calmness. If we dig deeper into this – what’s the real difference between the two and why is it so hard to build the bridge between them?
Often we simply aren’t ready for the feeling of having everything we need and want right now, we aren’t ready for the real change.
Many schools of thought, including a very popular film “the Secret” and the so called “Law of Attraction”, describe this phenomenon very well. Why do I want it so much but can’t manage to attract it into my life? I think about it all the time… And even do something.. Because I’m ready to want it but not ready to have it! And that is the key difference.
In order for us to reach a goal we must first be able to imagine and feel as if it’s already happened and we have this exact thing or a feeling.
I know it can sound like some weird form of voodoo at the start but really it has roots in in our neurological make up and the answer lies deep in our subconscious. Our subconscious has the power (in fact it’s the only one that can – our conscious mind has very limited ability to make decisions) to attract the things we want and to sabotage us if it thinks it threatens our wellbeing. And sometimes it gets it wrong.
How do we know when we sabotage ourselves and why do we do it? It’s very simple really.. Let’s imagine that we have it all already – I’m very slim, or very happy, with the new job and my relationships are crazy good! And in this precise moment it’s really important to listen to our inner feeling , what comes up – do you feel lightness in your body as if it’s agreeing with you and saying yes to this or do you feel resistance and possibly fear?
Very often intellectually we want something, but our subconscious mind, which is much stronger than the conscious one, is simply not ready for this. We think we want a new high paying job, but internally aren’t yet ready to lead the negotiations on launching a new product; we think we want a stable loving relationship but internally we’re not ready to build it as such, etc. And here starts the strongest internal riot and sabotage if our mind senses that we’re moving closer to these things. Because the energy of “wanting” is pleasant, full of possibilities, and it’s creating the illusion that we’re moving forward.. And in some way this feeling takes away our responsibility of actually stepping up and creating changes in the here and now. But what a wonderful feeling it can be if we do the internal work and one day wake up and realize that we’re ready to be happy and are in fact already happy. Merry Christmas everyone, may the New Year bring happiness and joy to all of you!