Here are some thoughts I often have:
This has always seemed comical to me but I have always felt it is good to remind ourselves to be happy and content. What I mean is that we must continually ALLOW ourselves to be happy and content. Many of us could find a happiness, if we only let it happen.
This sounds easy, but it isn’t. I often feel this can be harder than dealing with some conflicts.
Allowing oneself to be happy and content requires first, it seems to me, a letting go of things, of letting things just happen. It may seem, at times, to be a non-caring about things and a negligence about life, but perhaps that’s what we must do at first. The natural pattern of life is that we get wound up with details, most of which are not all that important. We worry about this, that, and the other thing. This is normal. For many people, this worry reflects a sense of purpose in life and that you have a place in the world. Letting go of this worry may seem like a loss of purpose and a loss of self. I’ve found that many people, including me, is frightened of letting go because purpose and self are so important. It’s like we’d rather suffer through unhappiness than to lose those traits. But, even though it may seem like a loss at first, that’s not what it is. In actuality, happiness and contentment will strengthen purpose and self in the end.
Once we let go of things we must let happiness and contentment happen naturally. You can’t force it to happen. This means you must find it within yourselves. Do you think that is an easy thing to do? A person must learn to be receptive to happiness. This appears to be one of the most difficult aspects of it to me. Most people are not receptive to it. There is a tendency, I think, for people to try to force happiness to happen and, by doing this, it basically strangles it.
Learning to be receptive means watching oneself over a long period of time. When you feel happy or content you must embrace it whole heartily. It’s like waiting for something and when it comes you grab onto it with both hands. It is best to expose yourself to happiness and contentment as often as possible.
This also means doing things that make you happy and content. Sometimes you must find what these things are. Often, they are unexpected things, like sitting in a park or just chatting with strangers.
In addition, many people, deep down, don’t feel ‘worthy’ of happiness and so don’t allow it to happen for that reason. This reflects the truth that, to be happy, one must feel good about oneself and who you are. A low self esteem or poor view of oneself could hamper any hope of happiness taking place. And so a big part of happiness and contentment is learning to feel good about yourself.
I have always felt that many people think they are happy but they are not deep down. One must be wary of what one seems to think. This reveals that a true happiness requires a deep honesty with oneself.
Another important point is to not fear unhappiness. To be unhappy in life is normal, of course. Without unhappiness what use would there be in happiness? Unhappiness makes happiness in many ways. As a result, there is a need to accept unhappiness. In order to embrace happiness a person must also embrace unhappiness. There are times when a person must feel down or worried or stressed. It’s best not to flinch these times. There seems to be a balance that is needed between happiness and unhappiness.
It seems to me that a person who is happy and content can weather conflicts better than a person who is not.
This is a process that takes years, it seems, and is really more of an attitude than anything else.
True happiness and contentment is cultivated like a garden I think. You plant it and take care of it.