-It is hard enough to keep up with life, who has the time to sit down and work on my personal happiness? – asked one of my clients.
-So why are we sitting in a coaching session then?- I asked.
-Because you will tell me what I need to do to be happy.
This is a typical conversation I have every week. Now, what is wrong with this dialogue? A lot, actually.
First of all, people need to realize that they must take time to work on themselves. If you do not make yourself the most important personal project, you will keep searching for answers outside, pay coaches for years and vent your frustration to friends in vain. Your happiness depends on you and no one else will make it happen for you. If you are not happy, something is wrong inside that needs attention. If your life seems to be falling apart, it is your inside that is reflected. If you keep bumping into the same problems perhaps it is time to change gears.
Second of all, when you get lost in the story (“life is hard enough to keep up with” or “it is hard to be happy” are great stories) you have no grip on what is actually happening to you! Inside of you. You do not pay attention to your thoughts; you are not in touch with your core beliefs about happiness. You do not acknowledge your real feelings or push them aside reassuring yourself that you will deal with them later. This, in itself, is self harm and those suppressed emotions will hurt you greatly at some point. The longer you keep them, the harder they bite you when they eventually come out.
Third of all, no one can tell you what you need to do to be happy. Happiness has a personal touch and we all have to figure out ourselves what that means for us personally. My happiness will not make sense to you and your definition of happiness might make me cringe. So get your planning out and start working on your own version, not a copy of someone else’s version of happiness.
Fourth of all, happiness is not about knowing what to DO but knowing how to BE. In my unhappiest moments in life I was so busy trying to figure out what to do to make it go away that I missed how I need to be so I understand happiness from my core. When I feel it inside, I was able to shift my negativity every time and this created a whole new level of existence. In return, I received better responses to my prayers and pleas to God. Asking God is one thing, asking Him as if our prayer is already accepted is quite another. We need to master how to trust that our prayer is answered in a way God thinks is right. Not the way we think is right. And certainly not when we think we have prayed enough therefore we deserve an answer. I know you do the same as me- pray, sweat, want an answer by lunchtime and if it does not arrive, you become anxious. You beg God, you promise Him you will do everything for Him if He gives you what you want this time. You desperately plead Him until you are exasperated yet His answer is still not coming. That is because you want one answer, YOUR answer and you want it to be validated by Him. Letting go of control is one of the hardest things but when you do that, a solution will pop out of nowhere and that is always much better than anything you or I could ever conjure up. So let us compose ourselves, get a grip and let go of control. Loosen your tight fist and allow God to deliver His plan with an open heart. (for more info on this see my post on Relying on God in a few days)