Tuesday, December 22, 2009

things fall apart: cultivating happiness

The minute you commit to living an authentic life, the world shifts. Friends fall away. Sometimes even family. But once you decide to be part of the energy that heals rather than destroys life, there is no other path.  

For all that the web is an electronic, impersonal place, I have often been overwhelmed and awed by it's ability to offer up uncanny insight or advice at just the right moment. Stumbling across the above quote (whether it is the blogger's own or a paraphrase or otherwise is unknown to me), just sort of reinforces some of what I've been contemplating lately and felt oddly appropriate for this morning's musings and meditations.

2009 has been a year of learning to embrace happiness. I know, how weird does it sound that I need to learn such a thing? But really, I think it's something everyone needs to learn. We're taught that happiness just is. We know when we're happy and when we're not. But I don't really think this is true. Otherwise we'd have no need for expressions like "his own worst enemy" or "cause of his own misery." Happiness is something you have to make a conscious effort to build in your life. From living in the now, to appreciating the moment and the small things, to learning to see the positive instead of focusing on the negative, happiness is a state of being that needs to be (to some extent) cultivated and nurtured.

The notion that happiness is something you work on and create every day, has become my mantra this year. And learning to find a more positive balance in my relationships with others this year has been a by-product of this attempt to cultivate happiness in my life. The quote above rings true for me because I do feel as if, as I cultivate this happiness, the relationships in my life are falling away or changing drastically.

Working on embracing happiness has actually revealed that I am happier than ever and more at ease in my own skin. But it's also caused me to notice patterns that I never really questioned before and left me pondering the nature of the relationships in my life, both positive and negative in terms of how I treat others, how I am treated, and whether the relationship is ultimately nurturing, toxic, in need of some space, or whether it needs to be worked on. This search for happiness has led me down the very humbling path (humbling because I slip up a lot) of trying to slowly but surely, learn to listen more, let go of my expectations, and change some of the more negative behaviour patterns in my relationships. Sometimes this has fostered stronger relationships and other times it has revealed less positive things, thus the quote above.

As I strive to be a better person and build a life that is happy, there are certain elements in my life that I have had to let go of and have had to give myself permission to not feel guilt over. Because part of the world shifting is actually allowing it to shift and giving myself permission to change. For me, the great lesson of 2009 has been how to cultivate my own happiness and letting myself be ok with letting go in order to be happy.

Sometimes things have to fall apart in order to build something better.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Marya: The quote is not mine; I grabbed it (unattributed) from a friend's blog, not his current blog, I believe, but one that has since vanished.

    I wish you immense and mushrooming happiness in 2010!



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