I hear this often “I just want to be happy”.
I hear it from friends, from clients, from strangers and even from myself. I have definitely said it, in fact it was this exact statement, said in desperation, that sent my on a path to where I am now.
It was maybe 15 years ago, it feels like a lifetime ago but in some ways it feels like yesterday. I remember standing in the kitchen of the house we were renting and almost screaming or was it crying, “I just want to be happy!!”
Almost as soon as I said it I felt a wave of relief.
Finally I had acknowledged what I really wanted and what the problem I was experiencing was. I was miserable and I just wanted to be happy and I felt a glimmer of excitement because a place deep in me, a place I knew was right but I wasn’t quite sure I could trust, had finally been heard. I got excited because I realised somewhere deep down I knew I actually had control over being happy. Regardless of whatever circumstances I was experiencing and they sure weren’t ideal, I just knew I could control my happiness.
At the time we were smack bang in the middle, or maybe more precisely the aftermath, of our financial crisis. We had lost everything, we had no money, we had lost investments and savings and even income, we were scrapping by. If I looked at our figures on paper I didn’t even know how we were scraping by. At this point it had been about 18 months since our financial **** had hit the fan. 18 months since I heard the words “they are refusing to pay what they owe you and in fact are now suing you” hit me like a train, knocking the wind and hope from me in one cruel moment.
We had been blindly, angrily, hopelessly walking through the last 18 months, seemingly getting one hit after the other. We faced a drawn out legal case we couldn’t afford legal representation for, we were judged and talked about, we were blindsided and served. The phone seemed to ring constantly with ‘requests’ for money, the mail box filed with demands and my husband and I slipped further and further into our own individual experience of hell.
For that 18 months I prayed, I affirmed, I yelled, I cried, I stumbled, I smiled on the outside and broke on the inside. I contemplated, far more than once, if it was all worth it. I lay in bed at night beating myself up. Why hadn’t I seen this coming, why had I been so stupid, so irresponsible and maybe the hardest thought of all “what had I done to deserve this?” I believed in karma so was this a karmic payback, was I really a bad person!!!
All the while I focused on the thing I thought could help me, in fact the only thing I thought could help me……… Money!!! We needed money, it was the only way I could see to get out of where we were and return to some version of our previous life ….. the life where dreams were fun, where I went to bed feeling safe and the future seemed not just bright but possible!!
When I lifted my head and focused on anything other than money it was on the unfairness of the treatment we received from other people. I focused on their behaviour and lack of understanding and judgment. I was looking at the world through ‘poor me’ eyes and everything had this tinge. I wanted my husband to respond differently, to support me differently, to understand me and what I was going through better. I wanted others to be kinder and more supportive and less judgmental. I wanted the universe to treat me better, I used to yell “hey universe if you are listening I am a good person why not just let me win the lotto and then everything will be fine.”
Money…….I just needed money…… I focused on how could I make it, how could I win it, how could my husband earn it….. I didn’t care how I just wanted money!!
I was in this state of mind, standing in my kitchen, repeating an affirmation I had said maybe a million times over the previous months “I am a happy healthy millionaire” when the life changing realisation hit me…..”I just want to be happy.”
I don’t know what made me listen that day but I did. I heard it and I actually listened to it. It was right, sure money would be nice but really deep down all I wanted was to feel happy. To have a happy life. To experience happiness.
I thought I needed money to experience that, to feel happy but something hit me that day and I realised I had to separate the two. I had to separate my potential happiness from money. They were two very separate things.
So in that moment I changed my focus. I learned to deal with money at specific times of the week and other than those times I focused on feeling happy.
I focused on me and my thoughts and my actions and my reactions.
I used meditation, journaling, gratitude, affirmations…. even the same affirmation I had been saying for months but with a different focus and intention. I still to this day use the affirmation “I am a happy healthy millionaire” because it makes me feel good, it focuses me on infinitive possibilities and it raises my vibration. I have said it for years now and I am not yet a millionaire but I swear the affirmation works!!
I started looking at what I had control of, or what I could control in my life. I couldn’t control anyone but me. I couldn’t control the phone calls or the person on the other end, I couldn’t control the content of the letters that arrived, I couldn’t control the gossip, I couldn’t control the judgement, I couldn’t control what we owed or at that point our income. I could control me though.
My willingness to allow happiness in.
These things I could control and as I took control of each of them I felt better, stronger, more capable, more hopeful and yes HAPPIER!!!
How I did this, how I moved from hopelessness to happiness when the the situation I had originally thought controlled that didn’t change now forms a huge part of my courses, my message and my coaching. It wasn’t easy but it was relatively simple.
I often talk about how I did it and that isn’t really the point of this blog. This blog is to hopefully trigger something within you that makes you realise whatever you are chasing, whatever you are hoping for….a relationship, money, success… whatever that is it is probably not going to bring you the happiness you think it will unless you work on creating, acknowledging and inviting happiness into your life and your core happiness begins with you!!
‘I just want to be happy’ gets confused with so many things….I’ll be happy when my partner loves me more…. when I have x amount of dollars in the bank…., when my business takes off…. when I weigh a certain amount…. when my mother acts differently…. when my friend apologises…. when my kids grow up. So many of us are placing our happiness in the hands of situations and people out of our control and are handing the reins of our happiness over to things outside of ourselves.
What I have learned, firstly from myself and now through my clients, is that happiness, true authentic happiness, isn’t about any of that. It is about the small things, the daily things we can do to ignite feelings of happiness and joy in our days. Happiness is actually in our control and it is so much simpler than we are making it out to be.
We don’t have to wait for happiness, we create it and we allow it and we acknowledge it now.
Happiness comes from moments. A happy life is just made up of happy moments.
Don’t wait for happiness, embrace it now and when you hear yourself saying “I’ll be happy when ….” Realise what you are really saying is “I just want to be happy” and that is in your control.
Much love and stack loads of happiness!!!!