If you haven’t read Part 1: Choosing Unhappiness, we pick up right where we left off.
In Part 1, I revealed how I had been committed to being unhappy because I had been believing I was actually happier that way. If that makes no sense to you, good. It shouldn’t. It turns out that upon inspection the mind can be a crazy, crazy place.
Speaking of inspection, I didn’t stop when I uncovered my painfully flawed math equation in which unhappiness > happiness. I went on to explore other reasons I might be making myself suffer. Two other factors came to the surface:
1) I Don’t Deserve to be Happy
It turns out that in the not-so-recesses of my unconscious mind has been the belief that I don’t deserve to be happy for the following reasons:
- I don’t have to work like other people, and therefore should compensate some how
- I was born white privileged in America, and therefore should compensate some how
- I have too much money compared to other people, and therefore should etc…
- I was born a woman in America (vs. other more oppressed countries)
- I’m not political enough (not helpful enough)
- I’m not enough of an activist
- I’m not enough of a philanthropist
- I’m single and single people can’t possibly be happy
- I’m not a mother, and might not be, which might mean I’m selfish and unloving
- My brain chemistry is broken
- My thyroid is broken
- I don’t work hard enough at it
- I’m not brave enough
- I’m getting too old
- I haven’t found my purpose and therefore am not being useful enough
- I’m not a vegetarian (and therefore cruel to animals, and therefore…)
- I know all the tools, I teach the tools, but I don’t use them as much as I should. I’m a big lazy hypocrite.
If the list sounds mean, it is. Like many, I have a harsh inner critic who, in her heart of hearts, only wants the best for me. The problem is she shows up at exactly the wrong time. She sees I’m suffering, so she starts to tell me everything that’s wrong with me in the hopes that I will fix something and feel better. Oh well-intentioned one, how I wish you’d find another way.
2) I’m Not Capable of Making Myself Happy
So let's say I undid my first belief, and discovered that being happy was worth it. And then I undid my second belief, realizing I deserve to be happy as much as anyone. There’s still one more belief that would keep me stuck: believing that I don’t have what it takes to change.
Here is one final list. It’s the list of what I have been believing that makes me incapable of changing this pattern:
- I’m not strong enough
- I don’t have enough diligence
- I don’t have enough focus
- I don’t have enough practice changing beliefs
- My neural pathways are too strong
- I was born this way
- I don’t have the courage to change my life patterns.
- I don’t have the courage to adjust my relationships
- The only way to be happy is to repress
- I don’t have the courage to let go of my identification with drama as my identity
- It’s biological and chemical and out of my control
- I can’t be happy and have my friends. What we want in life is incompatible.
So, you may be asking, what is the moral of this story? It’s this: Awareness. Changes. Everything. (A.C.E.! Not bad as far as acronyms go.)
I didn’t dig into these items one by one. I just saw the massive bulk of ways I’ve been double-crossing myself and I said F*** THIS.
Then I did what any sane person with some expendable cash might do to turn their happiness ship around: I flew to Bali. And then to Thailand. Here I have spent every single day dedicated to choosing, deserving, and creating my own happiness.
It hasn’t been a straight shot. It’s a process, and I have a whole set of new muscles to build. But luckily this journey to uncovering happiness is one filled with friends, honesty, community, dancing, beaches, bodies, boats, beautiful food, yogis, chanting, giving, dreaming, sleeping, snorkeling, scooting around islands in dresses on motor bikes and surfing on the waves of possibility.
Exercise: Raising Awareness (A.C.E. Yourself)
Raise awareness around these three questions:
1. What do you want that you don’t believe you deserve? And why?
2. What do you want that you don’t think you’re capable of, and why?
3. If you said F*** IT to your old commitment, how might you launch into your new life?
Recommendations for Continued Awareness:
Becoming Supernatural has been my daily companion on my road to redefinition. I can’t recommend Joe Dispenza’s work more highly, it’s changing my life, and hundreds of thousands of others too.
I also loved Jen Sincero’s book, You Are a Badass, which gave me very hilarious and pleasant kick in the pants to take my life into my own hands.