But I Can’t Be Happy

Does this ever happen to you? Flower_flowers_stuffed_250188_l

Suddenly and wonderfully, for no known reason, you feel a flash of happiness, or a rush of sudden joy.  Ah, glory.  You stop to revel in it.  And then…

Up pops that voice.

The one that whispers:

 Yes, but…

Yes, but, remember?  I can't be happy!

Why? I can't be happy because:

  • I still haven't lost the extra weight I'm carrying
  • I'm still not published
  • I'm not making enough money
  • I don't have a perfect love relationship
  • I don't have children and I really, really want some
  • I don't have my ideal job

All of which translates to:

  • I'm not thin enough
  • I'm not rich enough
  • I'm not published enough
  • I don't have enough
  • I'm not enough

To which I say: Enough, already!  You are enough, you have enough, you do enough.  I know, I know.  That's scant comfort when your buoyant joy is brought down to earth by that insistent voice.  So what's the antidote?

So glad you asked.  Here are my best strategies:

Recognize that its your ego talking.  Joy and happiness come from connection, from the divine, from being at one with the wonderful world.  The ego comes from a lifetime of misperceptions, imagined and real hurts, and crazy ideas that get lodged in our brain.  Just remembering this and recognizing that it is the ego squelching your joy is the first step.

Tell it to shut the f*%# up.   Geneen Roth talks about screaming back at the ego in her work.  Tell it to shut up, tell it that its not welcome, tell it that it is interrupting.   You may be a kinder, gentler soul than I, and want to ask it nicely to be quiet.  Do whatever works.

Know that all you really need (and have) is the present moment.  In every moment, you can choose love or you can choose fear.  It is pretty obvious that choosing to listen to the ego is choosing fear whereas choosing love is letting joy overtake you.  This takes practice, but gets easier.

That's all I've got for you at the moment.  Silencing the ego is a lifelong practice.  But it is a worthwhile one, becasue in the end we are here to love and experience joy. Anybody else have any suggestions?

Photo by hagit.

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8 Responses to But I Can’t Be Happy

  1. J.D. Frost 06/24/2011 at 04:48 #

    Thanks Charlotte, you picked a perfect morning for this little pep talk. I didn’t read this and get an instant turn-around, but sometimes just a little boost, a little prop can do wonders.

  2. Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition 06/24/2011 at 06:05 #

    I definitely resonate to this. I’ve learned to muzzle my ego in the last 3 or 4 years. The peace I feel at being free from this critical voice has made all the difference in the world in my happiness. One thing I had to do was take a step back in certain relationships that upped the volume of this critical voice. As I took back my power from these unbalanced relationships I was also able to take control of my ego. What I realized was that I was happy and satisfied and fulfilled in my life all along. It was the ego’s voice that made me think I had to achieve this or that first before I could be truly happy. What a waste of time!

  3. Maya @ Ms Buddha 06/24/2011 at 07:07 #

    No, you said it all! It takes practice…, to wake up from the ego again and again and connect to Love again and again. Oh, and to remember to practice takes practice as well!!

  4. Charlotte Dixon 06/24/2011 at 16:32 #

    Glad it was helpful, J.D.!

    Angela, happy this resonated with you. What a wonderful story-that you discovered you were happy all along, and it was just that critical voice telling you otherwise. That is a huge discovery!

    Maya, yes, practice takes practice! That’s wisdom right there.

  5. J.D. Frost 06/27/2011 at 13:17 #

    Having looked at the picture, Charlotte, I assume it is in honor of New York’s new law that you chose two male pansies.

  6. Charlotte Dixon 06/27/2011 at 13:22 #

    Not sure how you know they are male, but yay for the New York law anyway.

  7. J.D. Frost 06/28/2011 at 04:32 #

    It’s one of those jokes that if you have to point it out (pun intended), it must not be very funny.

  8. Charlotte Dixon 06/28/2011 at 09:37 #

    Well I thought it was funny and timely.

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