How long is now?

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When was the last time you were blissfully happy?

I’m talking about that my-cup-runneth-over sort of feeling when you’re overwhelmingly full of joy. Life seems to be completely on your side. There’s nothing more you could ask for. You’re loved, blessed, gifted beyond measure.

We all have had these experiences and, to be honest, many of us spend our lives seeking contentment. It looks different for all of us. For some it’s about achievement and perceived security, for others it’s about health or love. Happiness comes in all sorts of packages with one common denominator: the future. Usually happiness is not here and now but somewhere in future, waiting to be claimed, discovered, arrived at. Alternatively happiness can live in the past, where it’s something to be reminisced. The good old days when life used to be fun.

In our path to happiness many obstacles come to surface: I don’t deserve this. Something’s going to go wrong. This is going to be taken away from me. I have to atone for my bad deeds before I have the right to be happy.

What does happiness mean to you? A time when you’re somehow complete and ready?

I’ve learned that happiness is largely a choice. We will never be complete and ready. We will eternally be work in progress, and our perfection lives within in that very imperfection. We have to undestand that the light of happiness can sometimes reveal our inner weaknesses, pain and wounds. When happiness arrives, we may suddenly become consumed by fear of loss, low self esteem and anger at our past. Why was I treated so badly in the past? It didn’t work before so why would it work now?

Understand that sometimes happiness requires a healthy dosage of courage. It can feel much safer to live with little to lose. Right now is all that matters, and as present is the only time there ever is it means it’s eternal. Right now you’re always ok. Right now there’s nothing to lose and there’s no authority deciding who can be happy and who cannot.  Understand that a happy life means a healed life, and sometimes the process of healing can make you feel a bit raw and insecure. Realise the conditions for happiness are set by you alone, and that real life is about rainy days too. It’s commitment that counts – commitment to yourself.

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