There are so many times when we face challenges, uncertainty and difficulty on our journeys. We think that we’ve finally figured out what we’re supposed to do here on this planet, or at least our next step – yet something happens and we start to question everything again. Am I doing something wrong? What is wrong with me? Does this mean I’m not meant for this? If you’re feeling this way, today’s podcast will help you on your journey as we discover what it means to finally be happy.
One of the biggest illusions about happiness is that it’s supposed to feel good. We’re supposed to feel good all the time. Things are supposed to work out for us. We should be overjoyed, excited and motivated constantly. We should be able to do what others have done and have it work out. We don’t have down days. We don’t fail. We don’t lose. We want to be winners. We want to feel all the good feelings. We want to see success come in the form of wealth, certainty and recognition. We see these as the signs. The signs of momentum. The signs that we’re doing things “right”.
What happens though when you wake up with that feeling of uncertainty? What happens when your bank account runs low? What happens when no one likes or sees what you’re doing? What happens when these markers of success don’t exist? Does this mean we should stop? What would we do then?
We start on our paths of self-discovery or self-actualization as children, forming our impressions of what is safe or not safe to do and figuring out what will give us love. We learn how to navigate the many decisions and choices we have about who to love, who to marry, what to study, what job to take, what to spend our money on, and what we expect of our lives. We do all of that through the lens of a need for connection, love and safety.
In the process, we develop so many rules. Rules that come from all sorts of places. From friends, family, schools, workplaces and the many halls of society we walk down. Want to be accepted, cared for and thought of well? Here are the rules. We believe them until one day, someone comes along and asks you about these rules. Or someone shows you they live by different rules. Or your rules no longer work for the life you want.
What if your rules about your success markers were no longer up to date? What if you knew with certainty that uncertainty was truly a gift? What if you felt abundant every time your bank account began to dip? What if you felt like you were truly seen when no one recognizes you? These were the questions I would start pondering when I began to experience discomfort. When I moved out of the spaces of incredible excitement, energy or flow and began to doubt, worry or fear.
I knew that this moment wasn’t the end of the story, but what do I do with this feeling? Do I stuff it back inside me? Do I let it derail me? Do I let it ruin my current present moment with myself, my kids, my team and those I’m showing up for? I began to realize that no amount of “success” was going to keep me safe from these moments of uncertainty. No amount of stability would create complete freedom from these shifts in energy in my personal or professional life. If this was the case, then I wanted to learn to steady myself for these moments. To see it as beginning and not the end. For each of these moments are like small loops of energy and we are the ones that get to complete them.
I want you to start thinking about life in an entirely different way. The way of a brave spirit which is that there is no certainty except that which you create inside yourself. The certainty that you’ll show up for this moment with an open heart and a clear mind. That after the storm of the emotions pass, you’ll see that the sky is still there – ever supportive and existing. In that same way, each of these harder moments still have a sky behind them, and they’re looking for you to find them, but instead of looking down – look up. Look up and see that your ability to see that this hard conversation, rejection, silence, or defeat is a question for you to answer.
The question is this, “will you have the fortitude to show up?” Will you stay? Will you listen for the lesson? For every smile, hug or birth – there is sadness, goodbye or death. A full cycle of energy that exists with every moment. We’ve just been under a delusion that life should only have the one dimension of success that looks like money, recognition and certainty.
What if, what if we could fly across our life with more lightness and see that these things are only one part of what creates happiness. Money feels good because you didn’t have it at one point. Recognition is appreciated because it can be rare. Certainty is glorified because life is so uncertain. Do you see how we’re fighting against the natural currents of life? That we think that the thing that is so rare is that which is to be desired – which means this: we’re setting ourselves up to be entirely unhappy. Fixated on a point in time based on contrast to what we perceive to be good vs bad. Flip the script. Make the rules up as you go and realize that there is no one way to live your truth and your life.
Will there be loud voices telling you that you’re wrong? Absolutely. If you’re still with me, however, you’re likely realizing that those loud voices may not be entirely right either. You’ll start to question what happiness means to you and that is a good thing. Ask questions and let yourself discover what will be the source of your inner peace, wisdom, and strength. The ability to see the polarity is the reason we are so happy. That difficulty means ease. That sickness means health. These things are so far apart yet also the same. While this may feel like a re-write about what your goals and desires are for your life, it’s not. It’s the ability to see that on your way to something that feels good, you can feel good about the fact that you’re not feeling good.
If you can in your next moment of challenge have one brief millisecond where you pause and smile to yourself thinking, “this is it – this is the thing that’s going to be why something becomes good” – you’ll have done it. You’ll have lifted the veil and seen through the illusions of happiness. What you’ll find on the other side is something so much more fulfilling – and that is peace.
I love you my friends and if you’re looking to shift your perspective in an entirely new way for this coming year, you’ll want to join my 2021 Planning Retreat, “Your Best Year”. It’s on 12/13 and we’ll retreat over the course of an afternoon together, virtually – healing, creating and manifesting your life in 2021. Spaces are limited, and you can sign up at www.mayempson.com/yourbestyear.