This was one of the top 5 regrets reported by those on their deathbeds on a list recently being passed around social media.
Let myself be happier…LET MYSELF BE HAPPIER?! Such honesty from the dying. Taking responsibility, they recognised that it’s a choice. We decide how happy we will allow ourselves to be.
They are basically saying I wish I had recognised that I had a cap on the level of happiness I allowed into my life, and I wish I had gone through that limit to allow myself greater levels of happiness and wellbeing. The cap is usually given to us as children though and unless we recognise it and see it, we don’t realise how it strongly influences the rest of our lives.
When I was in Marrakesh last week I got to know our host. A guy who seems hugely happy and fulfilled in his life. He has a great marriage, does what he loves to do which includes world travel, sailing, biking, hand gliding, snowboarding, being in nature, exploring different cultures, and he makes lots of money from the properties he has bought there and restored. I asked him about his childhood, wondering about the early expectations he was given, and thinking they were likely to be high. Well unsurprisingly he had a happy and wealthy childhood, with professional parents who enjoyed their work, and they lived in a large country house in France and he spent his childhood roaming free with horses, dogs, and growing things and having fun.
This is so very much in my face at the moment as I watch my own less than happy tendencies try to reassert themselves in the face of my increasing happiness and wellbeing. Everything is going well for me, and yet this body’s nervous system and brain were trained to brace themselves against onslaught, attack, adversity and to look out for possible calamity. They are more and more finding themselves out of a job!
I am having to get used to finding another way of expressing myself. Meeting with friends and discussing our mutual problems isn’t working any more because there aren’t many problems and dramas really and it isn’t my focus now anyway. I am finding myself not having much to talk about! I did not realise just how much of my conversation used to be about the current challenges I face.
Do I talk about how great my life is then, how healthy I am getting and how thriving my business is becoming?! There is only so much mileage in conversations about how great life is. Or am I missing something?
We seem to be able to talk about problems for hours, and engage in solution-finding with each other, intensive listening and sympathising. The brains like a juicy problem to solve, and can get quite excited and involved in those conversations. But where can a conversation about success and happiness go? I am curious to find out!
I have done a bit of chat recently about how good things are becoming and I hate to say it but the responses have not been all that positive. Not a lot of rejoicing for me at all from the friends and family I have tentatively expressed this to. A little bit of negativity and even criticism actually.
I’m watching with curiosity to see what happens next. Perhaps I will start attracting different people into my life. Meantime, life is very quiet and I spend most of my time alone. This feels exactly right for just now. It is calm and peaceful.