We all know someone who has an addiction: a spouse that drinks too much, an overweight child, a parent who lives on painkillers. Or a friend that shops and spends in excess and can’t seem to stop.
In our lives, we have both personally experienced a variety of addictions. The content of our past addictions is really secondary. We have each openly discussed our past in various lectures and talks, radio shows, articles and blogs so we won’t go into details here.
What’s primary is why we experienced these addictions. What caused us to seek pleasure outside ourselves? And, consider this: are these actual addictions or are these simply symptoms of one addiction that most humans suffer from?
Ask yourself, ‘Why do I seek out external pleasures that I usually regret, am remorseful about or hate myself for?’
Could the answer to this one loaded question be ‘because I am addicted to unhappiness?’
From our own personal stories, the two of us can clearly see the truth in that statement. We are all raised to some degree to believe that unhappiness is ‘normal.’
Unhappiness, which is a result of suffering, is seen as noble. We have been brainwashed to believe that playing the victim and being at the mercy of life circumstances and events, is somehow our karmic destiny. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Actually, the opposite is true. To be happy is our birthright. It is our natural state. Being unhappy, therefore, is unnatural. And because unhappiness is unnatural, it adversely affects our total well-being in our mind, body and spirit.
In our attempt to numb, deaden and even eliminate the feeling of unhappiness, we seek happiness outside ourselves. For some of us the pain is so intense, we choose dangerous alternatives such as drugs or alcohol. For others, it’s physical or emotional abuse or dead-end relationships that reinforce the addiction to unhappiness. And still for some, it is about sabotaging any good when it comes our way because happiness feels so alien to the ‘unhappiness addict.’
We are suggesting something of great significance here: that all your so-called ‘problems’ stem from an addiction to unhappiness. Now, we will back up for a moment and say that ‘yes, life includes suffering!’
We all suffer because we somehow cannot accept that everything and everyone, including ourselves, is temporary in nature. Life, in all its’ forms, is transient and always changing. We fear the end result which we call death. Acceptance of our temporary nature is the first step that allows us to break away from the addiction to unhappiness.
Through a variety of processes, we can each transform ourselves from being addicted to unhappiness to making happiness our new addiction.
Being happy doesn’t mean you never experience sadness. It does mean, however, you develop a greater sense of gratitude, appreciation and love for others, yourself and Life as a whole. A shift from unhappiness to happiness changes your whole life for the better. You ‘go with the flow’ so-to-speak. You rise above any situation, experience and circumstance. When you experience let-downs, allow yourself to feel sad. Grieve , if necessary. Yet, at the end of the day, realize what happened to you doesn’t define who you are.
The addiction to unhappiness takes years to develop. Through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood, we each experience suffering in a variety of ways. This is the human condition. It is inevitable and inescapable.
Yet, we each possess the power to become addicted to happiness. Like our addiction to unhappiness, this addiction will take some time to establish itself in your life.
In order for happiness to become your new norm, you must fulfill some requirements that allow you to exchange an unhealthy addiction for one that invigorates, inspires and ignites a spark of magnificence in you.
Here is a list of processes that we recommend for making happiness your new addiction:
1. Be open to being happy. Without an open mind and an open heart no one can create lasting positive change.
2. Believe that being happy is possible and can happen to you. Without belief, you cannot change your reality which includes your experiences, circumstances and situations.
3. Take full responsibility for your life. No one can truly be happy if they refuse to take charge of their own life. Being responsible is empowering and being empowered is being happy.
4. Learn how to ‘accept what is.’ Life happens! Every moment presents us with a new set of obstacles and challenges. Instead, see them as opportunities. Through acceptance, we open the door to solutions. We can then move with Life rather than being at its’ mercy.
5. Embrace the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only remedy for unhappiness. Forgiveness frees us from the bondage of all our suffering inflicted upon us by others and by the suffering we inflict upon ourselves.
6. Become a living example of happiness. To experience happiness requires you to embrace it. This means being open to it, believing it has value and being responsible for the form it takes in your life. It also means you are willing to forgive, let go of the past and begin each day with a clean slate.
Right now, in this moment, you may see your life situation as a problem; an enemy of sorts. This is not the case! Consider that your one and only problem is your one and only addiction: unhappiness.
When you really ‘get’ what the two of us are saying here you are on the road to recovery! Unhappiness no more! The road to recovering your life is making happiness yours!
Are you ready to be happier? Contact us for a complementary ‘Live Your Dream Life Coaching Session.’
Jon Satin and Chris Pattay – The Possibility Coaches™
©2015 Possibility Coaches, LLC