Don’t be afraid of your unhappiness!
If we make our unhappiness the enemy, we’ll never get to know ourselves, understand ourselves, change ourselves. The idea: make our unhappiness our friend — yes, indeed. Embrace our sadness, our impatience, our anger, our jealousy, and our fears. Yes, embrace it all. We get unhappy as a way to take care of ourselves (on purpose)…believing, for example, if we’re unhappy about being too heavy or “fat,” we will diet and lose weight, if we’re unhappy about being angry (judging our anger), we’ll then chill, if we’re unhappy about believing we’re not enough, we’ll then finally figure out how to be enough.
In the end, none of it works…it never did, it never will.
What is the solution?
Let’s become students of our unhappiness – yes, yes…let’s jump into it, spend time studying our discomforts, ask questions to understand why we invoke distress to take care of ourselves. By going into our unhappiness fully and deeply, we actually give ourselves a chance to find our way out. That’s why we’re teaching folks how to ask questions, how to be nonjudgmental, how to love the parts of ourselves that we want to change before we make the change.
- What am I feeling?
- Why am I feeling this?
- What am I believing about myself, the other person, or the situation that fuels this feeling or unhappiness?
Guess what? This is not rocket science. This is taking ownership, not running away, but running toward. It’s okay if we’re unhappy. We’ve been well-trained and we’ve continued the training on our own. Let’s be kind to ourselves and get to know ourselves more deeply and more lovingly than ever before. We can absolutely do this — but it begins with wanting to do this…and then taking action. Unhappiness is not our enemy.
Run toward the discomfort, go inside and really feel it, then begin asking questions like the simple ones above. We can do this. Absolutely, we can do this and change.
One last thought to contemplate:
We actually get ourselves unhappy in order to be happy.
To motivate ourselves (to stop smoking, to diet, to leave a relationship).
To be a sensitive and caring human being (if you are sad and I am sad about your sadness, then it shows I care).
To express our intelligence (any smart person would/should be unhappy about the current human condition).
The only issue here is…unhappiness doesn’t lead to happiness. It just builds upon itself.
So…the idea is to dismantle and embrace our discontent by not judging, but rather seeking to understand the beliefs that fuel it.
“Bears” Barry Neil Kaufman
Author “HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE” & “SON-RISE:THE MIRACLE CONTINUES and Co-Founder Option Institute® & The Son-Rise Program® & Autism Treatment Center of America®