Happiness Is All In Your Mind

How Much Longer To Give Up Hope Completely

In teaching self-compassion, I have heard all kinds of worries about the ability to foster a successful practice.  Despite my own decade and a half of practice, I am still saddened to hear people say that they believe that they are destined for great loss, disappointment, rejection, and unyielding sadness.  There is a vague emptiness in their voice, and their dreams seem to always be framed in the background of a car speeding away in the opposite direction.  Even though I am saddened for them, it is my job to provide instructions, so I ask them how much longer they think it will take to give up hope completely.

As upsetting as the question might be, it is a necessary one.  To create enough space for a happy life, you must disentangle yourself from the current one.  The only way to do that is to stop trying to control the external environment to meet the expectations of dreams that are probably not meant for you. 

Without self-compassion, we create our dreams based on social influence, and what is available to us.  Our dreams to become a lawyer, doctor, or business person were probably half a reflection of the people around us, and half a reflection of what society esteems is worthy.  Unfortunately, other people’s vocations and society’s values have nothing to do with our journey, on which we will find our own happiness.  Difficult as it may be, you have to give up someone else’s journey to be on your own.

The Self-Compassionate Way To Happiness

Still, you may find yourself clinging to your current reality, even if it is beating you down one day at a time.  While it is disheartening, you know it well, and fear what it might be like to let it go, and hope for better.  Fortunately, you do not have to hope for better.  There is nothing wrong with who you are.  You are good.  You just need to let go of that thing that is not a very good fit for you to make room for something that is. 

Acknowledge the misery.  Notice how it appears in your thoughts, your feelings, and your body.  Watch these events as they pass out of your experience, and ask yourself how you can be kind to yourself.  Then, think about what you truly need to be happy if money, power, and social status did not exist.  Move towards these qualities, but only if you want to be happy.  You will not find happiness outside of you.  Happiness is all in your mind.

365 Days Of Self-Compassion.  Day 219.  In The Books.