I’m not sure about you, but happiness being “conditional” is not an idea I subscribed to consciously. And yet, I’ve managed to make it so conditional. When I’ve imagined what my life would be like, it included very specific things happening in a very particular order for me to be happy with how it all turned out. I’d never considered the benefits of unconditional happiness, because I’d never really acknowledged it as a possibility.
Some things are more of a dealbreaker than others, but when the really big things don’t work out- the things we not only placed our happiness on, but the things we placed our very worth- what are we to do? We’re crushed and completely broken and it feels like we may never be able to participate in daily life again without wanting to run back to our beds to hide under the covers. Like we may never feel safe or at home here in our bodies or our lives ever again. But that’s simply not true- time moves forward. We adapt our expectations and our minds expand.
When the one thing we thought would make us happy is no longer possible, we have no choice but to change the conditions of our happiness. So why not do that from the jump? Why white-knuckle it through disappointment after disappointment, instead of believing that there’s something bigger at play? A story that, though unwritten, we trust? Why don’t we make a conscious choice to place our happiness in a variety of outcomes? In any outcome? Here’s a few tips that have helped me let go and find unconditional happiness (or attempt to, anyway):
LOOK FOR ONE THING THAT YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR LIFE DAILY
When bad news hits you, it can feel impossible to see life as anything but an incredibly unfair and sad place to be. The feeling consumes you for a period of time, and then suddenly, little things you are so incredibly grateful for start to become more noticeable. Your people step up with phone calls, check-in texts, cards, flowers, cookies or whatever it is. You make it a point to go out to dinner at your favorite place, and the food tastes so. damn. good. Your fur babes greet you at the door and you take stock in this moment- one in which everyone in your house is happy and healthy and energetic and even through all the haze of wishing you were “anywhere else but here,” you realize things will never be exactly like this again. No, not everything may be exactly as you’d hoped, but that’s okay, so many other things are.
REMEMBER THAT HAPPINESS IS WITHIN YOU, ALWAYS
Even when you feel the worst you’ve ever felt, happiness is still inside of you. It is still accessible, it just won’t be quite as much in those darker moments. And that’s okay- you’ve got to feel those feelings, but I think it helps to remember that those feelings are not all you are. You’re a wide array of so many different emotions experienced in so many different circumstances- happiness being one of them. It will come back with time, and, when it does, welcome it and love it unconditionally. It’ll be more keen to stay awhile.
WHEN YOU BEGIN TO FEEL TENSION ARISE INSIDE OF YOU, RELAX
Tension is going to come up within us, no matter what stage of the healing journey we’re on. It’s a natural part of the human condition. The thing that separates someone further on their journey from someone who’s just beginning, is how skilled they are at acknowledging when yucky feelings come up, and being able to distance themselves from them. The body begins to tense, the mind starts to spin, and we have a choice. To let our consciousness run with it without thought, or to relax. To consciously observe the ride our bodies and minds are attempting to take us on, and instead of going along, just sit back. Get real quiet. It’ll help you tap into the *always accessible* happiness I mentioned above.
LOOK FOR WAYS TO HELP OTHERS
It’s funny how when we look outside of ourselves and connect with the world around us, we realize just how small we are. Just how much humanness is happening everyday- how we’re all going through stuff. And because of that, there is so much support out there, too. Let your heartache guide you in the right direction- it will lead you to your people. People who have known similar struggles. People who know that those struggles are what qualify you both to help one another. Those connections will be some of your most powerful and meaningful, and they will help you heal.
DON’T TAKE IT ALL SO SERIOUSLY
When certain things in my life haven’t gone as I’d hoped, it’s felt like the world has ended. And I know that sounds dramatic, but certain things are just going to get that kind of reaction and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. We have to feel our feelings to let them pass through us. So let them. Watch them flow, don’t try to stand in the way by “thinking” your way out of it. I know it hurts, but it should. It’s okay to hurt. The clouds will eventually part again and in sunshine will come. And that’s your cue- to remember that we make a big fuss over SO much. We think ahead to the worst possible outcome because at times, that’s what we’ve been presented with. But look at you- still here. Still thriving. Terrible things happen and those things will never be anything but terrible, but it doesn’t mean that YOU will in turn feel terrible forever. You will laugh again. You’ll find so much joy again. Good things will happen again. You will find hope and new dreams to reach for. We are not doomed to a miserable life, we can choose to let go of the terrible story and bring new life and meaning to it.
I can speak now from personal experience, that the less conditions we place on our happiness, the happier we become. Because it means no longer having to wait for anything else to happen to feel it. We can feel it anytime, anywhere. It’s kind of like welcoming an old friend into your home. It may feel a bit strange and unfamiliar at first, but once you’ve sat down for that first cup of coffee together, you’ll realize no time’s passed at all. You’re still great friends who can now begin spending much more time together, after all. And, with unconditional happiness, what a wonderful time that will be.
This post was very much inspired by this episode of the Tony Robbins podcast with Michael Singer (the author of The Untethered Soul– something else I recommend!). If it resonated with you at all, I’d highly recommend taking a listen!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: Let Fear Move Through You So You Can Move Forward
2 thoughts on “How to Find Unconditional Happiness”
Love this, very insightful and uplifting…..yeah!!
Thank you!! 🥰😘