"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." ~ James Thurber
"Happily Ever After" is a fairytale - ironically that's the words all of them end in. From the time we are born, we are raised by society to believe that if I have this, that or something else then I'll be happy. So, we put all of our focus on obtaining those things that we think will make us happy. What happens if you get what it is you want, are you then happy? Maybe for a little while, but then you start wanting something else. What happens if you can't reach what it is that you want? Then it sends us into a tailspin of misery and frustration.
While there is nothing wrong with dreaming and wanting,... too many of us put our entire focus and happiness on it. Well, that's just a recipe for the never-ending cycle of heartache and disaster.
What can we do to break out of that cycle? Here's just a few of my ideas, I encourage you to think of your own as well.
1) Let go of the "Happily Ever After" concept. Your happiness cannot be given to you by anyone else or any outer circumstance. Contemplate for yourself what is it that I can do today to feel happy. For me it's going to the lake that I love, reading a book to go to another place for a moment, or reminding myself to appreciate all that I have with me right now.
2) Stop focusing on the past or the future and be in the present moment. Have you ever noticed how animals are always happy and if they are ever unhappy, it's only for that moment. They are so focused on their immediate environment... they aren't thinking about what they did 5 mins ago or what they will be doing 5 mins from now. As highly advanced human beings, of course, we have the ability to think forwards and backwards as well. But instead putting all of our focus on doing that why not invest some of our energy and time on enjoying the present moment for what it is. That reminds me of a time which is one of my happiest days in life. A friend of mine was adopted and managed to find some of his biological family (brothers, grandma, & uncles). He and I went to a family gathering to meet them all, it was one of the most amazing experiences. I can remember so many details of that day, because I was soaking in each and every moment instead of thinking about something else. I believe that we were both so smiley and happy that day, because all of our focus was on the here and the now. Wouldn't it be worthwhile to try and have more of that and less of the worry and fear of the past/future?
3) Realize that your happiness is inside of you. It may be hidden right now, but it's there. You can't get it, all you have to do is go inside and find it.
Wishing you much love and happiness,