It is often said that everybody wants to be happy and yet this doesn’t mean that one will be comfortable when they are happy. For some people, being happy is a wonderful experience and for others, it is something that leads to incredible guilt.
And the very thing that one wants is then casing them to feel down and even miserable. Logically this is unlikely to make any sense and why would it.
This could cause someone to sabotage their happiness and as soon as it comes, it goes. It then leaves as quickly as it arrives. Or one may just end up feeling miserable when they should be happy and therefore waste the whole experience.
But it may mean that one doesn’t allow anything in their life to get this far. As the guilt is so strong, one is constantly on the lookout to minimize or end anything that would create happiness for them.
This can go on at a conscious level and at an unconscious level, but the consequences will be the same. And just about everything will be done to sabotage any form of happiness.
There will be two ways that this can impact one’s life. One is through the internal conflict mentioned above and the other is through external experiences. And although they can be seen as separate, they can both influence each other.
Through feeling guilty within for being happy, one can end up projecting this outlook onto other people and interpreting their behaviour in a certain way. Here one will assume that other people may reject them or disapprove of them for being this way.
And while this could be the case, the world is also made up of all types, but through the perspective that one has, one may see everyone as being this way.
What this all comes down to is being accepted. Their perspective is likely to be that one will only be accepted by others when they are unhappy. Now, this is rarely going to be something that one is consciously aware of. It is more likely to be taking place at a deeper level.
No matter who one is or what one does, complete acceptance from everyone is not possible. And yet, for the person that can’t be happy, acceptance is being interpreted as life or death.
Through the eyes of an adult, this outlook can seem absurd. But if a child had this outlook, it would make perfect sense.
And just because one may look like an adult, it doesn’t mean that one is emotionally an adult; there can be times when one can feel like a child. Here one can revert to a time in their life where being accepted was a matter of life or death.
This is likely to be ones childhood years and how one was responded to by their caregivers during times of happiness and joy will have had a big impact.
During this time, ones ego mind will have formed associations around happiness. If one received approval, acceptance or validation for being happy, then being happy would be classed as familiar and therefore. But if one was invalidated, rejected or unapproved of for being happy, then being unhappy would have been associated as being familiar and therefore safe.
So, if the second occurrence took place, one would have come to learn that it was not safe to be happy. It was only safe it they were unhappy.
This could have been something that happened on a regular basis or it could have also been a one of event that was traumatic.
Although there can be numerous ways in which this is played out and experienced by someone as a child, there can be certain patterns. Perhaps one had a caregiver that was experiencing some kind of emotional pain and therefore couldn’t stand to see another person happy. To see another person happy, only reminded them of their own unhappiness.
It could be that one had a jealous or envious caregiver and so they felt that their position was being compromised if any one were to shine or take the limelight. And due to them not dealing with their own issues, they were acted upon in a destructive manner.
There may have been a general unhappiness that permeated ones whole family. So it was not based on a certain occurrence or a one of event, but a way of life. And one had no other choice or even the understanding that life could be any other way.
Ones childhood may have taken place a long time ago and yet these early experiences can dictate so much of one’s adult life. As a child, one may have only felt safe if they were unhappy and as an adult, this no longer has to be the case.
But although one has moved on from those times, the ego mind can still perceive life in the same way. This will mean that certain associations and the emotions that are attached to them will have to be released. The help of a therapist, coach, healer or a trusted friend can assist in this process.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.