Integrative / Intuitive Health and Empowerment Coaching
'Mamaita's Journey uses the gifts of a clinical academic and intuitive to empower seekers to discover that 'missing something' they need to make their life MORE!
Catch your thoughts....
April 19, 2014
My Reason for being...
May 1, 2013
'Guilty of Libel...?'
June 3, 2014
The Biggest Myth ~ It's Selfish to Try to be Happier
January 15, 2014
This was one of my biggest battles. Those who know me well, know that I think... I think... a lot! And never more than during my exploration of 'Happiness'...
This was particularly difficult for me to accept. You see, I had been 'conditioned' to believe I was undeserving of anything. Remember, I was always the 'bad' child, the 'wayward' adolescent, the 'disappointing' adult. My instinctive reaction to this was to 'please'. I was always trying to 'please'. Always hoping for their 'approval'. Of course, I never succeeded. I didn't deserve their 'approval' or 'pleasure'....
So to accept that I deserved to be happy was a huge cycle to break. Huge!
Through EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming) my counsellor and I worked on those feelings of 'I am not worthy' reprocessing it to 'I am worthy'. From 'I am unlovable' to 'I am loveable'... slowly, slowly, helping me to change my distorted image of 'me'.
During my research, as I mentioned before, I read Gretchen Rubin's 'The Happiness Project'. The following passage struck a very distinct chord....
This is the most pernicious myth about happiness. It comes in a few varieties. One holds that “In a world so full of suffering, you can be happy only if you’re callous and self-centred.” Another one is “Happy people become wrapped up in their own pleasure; they’re complacent and uninterested in the world."
Studies show that, quite to the contrary, happier people are more likely to help other people, they’re more interested in social problems, they do more volunteer work, and they contribute more to charity. They’re less preoccupied with their personal problems.
By contrast, less-happy people are more apt to be defensive, isolated, and self-absorbed, and unfortunately, their negative moods are catching (technical name: emotional contagion). Just as eating your dinner doesn’t help starving children in India, being blue yourself doesn’t help unhappy people become happier.
I’ve certainly noticed this about myself. When I’m feeling happy, I find it easier to notice other people’s problems, I feel that I have more energy to try to take action, I have the emotional wherewithal to tackle sad or difficult issues, and I’m not as preoccupied with myself. I feel more generous and forgiving.As I’ve worked on my happiness project, one of my biggest intellectual breakthroughs was the identification of my Second Splendid Truth. There’s a circularity to it that confused me for a long time.
At last, one morning, it came clear: One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. Everyone accepts the first part of the Second Splendid Truth, but the second part is just as important. By making the effort to make yourself happier, you better equip yourself to make other people happier, as well. It’s not selfish to try to be happier.
In fact, the epigraph to the book The Happiness Project is a quotation from Robert Louis Stevenson:
“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.”
Not a day goes by that I do not thank you Gretchen Rubin for your book!
It really does make so much sense, doesn't it? When I thought about the people in my life who I would say were 'selfish'... I took the liberty to ponder their state of happiness: Are they happy? Do they appear happy? Do they make me happy? Do they do anything to help others? Are they forgiving in nature? Indeed, are they giving? The answer was a resounding 'No'. And then, when I thought about some of the most giving, kind, gentle folk in my life and pondered their happiness, it became clear: they were some of the happiest people in my life and they make me happy!
Armed with this fresh discovery and my ongoing 'reprogramming' through EMDR, I embraced the concept that if 'I' was happy, my son would be too. And more importantly: I DESERVED TO BE HAPPY!