Happiness, the discussions we have.

This happiness thing is a topic that frequently comes up early on in my coaching group discussions and programmes because people tell me that they ‘just want to be happy’ or they want to be happier that they are. Over the years i’ve worked with people who live with various addictions including people who are addicted to their own internal pain and misery.

Happiness to many people appears to remain a mystery, an illusion that is almost like a mirage. You see it in the distance but when you get closer to it it just turns back into dry sand that slips away.

I’ve met some people who find their happy and then hold on to it in a crushing way, cutting the air and freedom off from it in case they lose it.

I’ve met some people who do not believe happiness even exists and no matter how hard they try they can not remotely connect with the sensation of what happiness could even feel like.

I have to take a breath.

These statements of their truth are hard to hear. There’s no gun ho response in me where I blurt out promises of transforming their lives in the blink of an eye. I think we’ve all pretty much been there at some point, void of happy, but if we’ve had the fortune to have had some connection with the feeling then we know it exists and we know it’s in there somewhere.

I remember once on my travels talking to a buddhist about happiness and we talked about the middle way and what that meant so that we were neither starved or over indulged, we were balanced. We talked about the two different sources of happiness, where they came from and how we could lose them, get them back and continue this like an emotional yo yo OR we could find the true more empowering source of happiness. I choose the latter but here’s how I understood it as I listened.

Relative happiness.

This kind of happiness is where we attach our positivity to external things, situations or people. This is where you become happy because of the person you are with, the job and income you have, the car you drive and the labels you wear and so on. The problem with this is there are too many variables that are out of our control, such as a shock redundancy, the nice income dries up, the partner leaves, the car needs to be sold, the mortgage becomes a strain. We crash in emotion and hey presto where KO’d.

Maybe it’s not that bad but someone else comes along to sweep you off your feet and he or she is divine and beautiful and earns well. Fab all sorted then, until the shadow side comes in – those unresolved issues and the relationship goes south and you find yourself back on a life low. Until that is there’s another pick me up. Life pick me ups are addictive, we feed this by buying buying and buying. Showing off, telling the world, shouting about it on social media and making sure the right people know about what you want everyone else to learn – EXHAUSTING.

Absolute happiness.

The inherent core of your happiness is within you. It does not depend on others to other things to ignite, when it takes a life sucker punch it knows where that core source is to tap into and it rises back up. The optimism is there, the resources and resilience are present and life has a bounce back you can’t buy or order in 3 clicks from amazon.

Tapping into this source is extraordinarily empowering and a gift we can give ourselves but a gift we must nurture. It isn’t to be chained to us, it isn’t to be hidden away and kept for a rainy day incase it runs out. It won’t ever run out, our well of happiness inside us can never run dry unless we are the ones who stop using it, stop nurturing it.

Follow my blogs on Happiness to learn more about the essence of it, to grow more connected to it and trust that we can indeed trust ourselves to live with it.