Happiness is NOT the goal

February 2, 2017

Happiness is NOT the goal

Finally. After years and years of searching for happiness, I realized that it – happiness-  is NOT THE POINT OF LIFE. What a f’ing relief.

The past few months have been spent sitting in a bit of an emotional shit-storm. The end of 2016 brought with it challenges on the work, love and financial front.

Within a month, the clinic I have called home for the past year and a half dropped a bomb that made it no longer viable for me to stay with them. Financially it was going to be too much of a strain to stay and we were no longer sharing a vision for how to best serve our community. Romantically I managed to attract a couple of scenarios that felt like I hadn’t grown emotionally since I was 15. And my car was involved in 2 – let’s just call them – fender benders. WTF?

Here’s the catch. A month or two prior to this – and if you read this blog you’ll know – I had made a commitment to myself to sit with the uncomfortable feelings as they arose. And while this sounds all good and enlightened, it pretty much sucks when all you want to do is blame someone, go get drunk or hide under the covers with Netflix and pizza. I wanted to do pretty much anything but feel the range of emotions that were coming up.

To sit and feel the anger and the disappointment of putting my complete faith in an organization that let me down time and time again and created a stress that- I realized in the end – was always bubbling just below the surface.

To feel the despair of feeling like a “loser magnet” and completely losing faith in myself and my ability to attract anyone of substance or quality. Someone that I may actually consider sharing this life with.

And then to feel the frustration as I turned my face to the sky and told the Universe to go “F” itself because the stress of shit breaking down either by my fault or randomly was really getting annoying. And most of all that whatever ‘sign’ it was trying to give me, as obvious as I’m sure it must have seemed, was not obvious to me.

In essence, I felt like “I don’t got this” and I questioned, “did I ever really have it together to begin with or have I just been fooling myself this whole time?” No one was dying or injured, and I’m thankful for that, that fact wasn’t lost on me during this time, but it still felt crappy.

But here’s how it was different this time

See this time I began to practice tending those situations in a different way. And by tending I mean I just let the feelings be there. I didn’t “use my tools” to try to get back to happy and grateful, I just let it be.

I still exploded with emotion at the outset of these events, and after that moved through I moved onto the next feelings that were arising. The point is, shit hit the fan and while normally I would tell myself “here we go again, same old shit, nothing ever changes you’ll never be able to just be happy and balanced in life”, this time I just let it be. I didn’t make ‘feeling good’ the yardstick to my success.

Somehow, and I have no idea if this is just a timing thing or what, I was able to see – in my mind’s eye kind of see – that what was arising was life and if it’s arising it must be for a reason because I am not smarter than life. So rather that resist it, I just let it be. The point wasn’t to figure out how to not feel like shit. The point wasn’t to gratitude journal my way into a peaceful state. The point was TO FEEL LIFE.

Do you know how much time I have spent striving to be happy? And getting down on myself if I wasn’t. Do you know how much time I have spent thinking, I’m almost there, once I tackle this last thing then I’ll be happy and I’ll no longer experience these ups and downs.

TOO MUCH TIME. I have been driving myself to the brink of insanity. Killing myself to be happy.

The point is, when we aren’t feeling life, we are resisting death. We are pushing it away and trying to stay in this safe place where we feel like we can control life. But to really FEEL life we have to be able to feel and be with DEATH. Life and Death are two sides of the same damn coin.

The death, I think, is the ego. I was so afraid for so many years to let people know I was anything but this happy outgoing shining personality that had it all together. My ego needed me to be this, I needed to be special. Here’s the catch, I still have an ego, it’s just running the show a teeny tiny bit less.

So it’s ok to admit that even at 39 and through all the wonderful experiences that I have had and for all the incredible people that are in my life and for the brilliant work I get to be a part of and for the gorgeous place I live in, I still fall apart. And good chance I’m going to keep doing that because Happiness is not the goal. The goal is to be alive and to be alive, to be truly human, is to feel all of it and not let my ego rob me of that because it’s busy trying to maintain some illusion that being happy all the time is the destination.

Once I realized and started to accept that happiness was not the goal I realized that being stuck in one emotion or striving for one emotion, is pretty damn boring anyway and not at all how I want to live.

I want to live like my soul is on fire.

Thanks for listening,

Paula

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