How can you Learn to Be Happy For No Reason?
When you read most of the comments posted at AskNora, you can watch a lot of pain and loneliness. Sometimes I have a heavy heart watching so many women still waiting for a bit of happiness in their marital life. Are they wrong hoping and waiting for their husbands to deliver a caring, loving message? Of course, not, because we all believe that making the other person happy is part of the marriage contract, right?
Wait! Is this completely true: "Making each other happy is included in the marital contract"? What if we challenge this assumption now? In my search for real answers for this pain, I can even get to look at radical alternatives. You already know that I would love to be able to write: "Here is how to force your husband to make you happy!"... but it is not realistic, or fair, or doable, right?
Lacking other alternatives, I looked at my wonderful book collection, and Marci Shimoff's book: "Happy for No Reason" jumped at me...Perhaps Marci is saying something we can use here? I want to share some of her ideas with you here, as to offer all of us a different, opposite view of this belief that making the other person happy is part of the marriage contract.
The first radical idea is: Take ownership of your happiness...it means recovering our inner core of self, forgotten now under the clouds of marital distress.
According to Marci and the authors she quotes, what prevents you from taking ownership of your actions is the belief that other people and what they did to you are responsible for who you are now; they and their actions are responsible for your emotional pain or your inability to be your true self.
Marci's answer is: You are responsible for your inner space now; having an inner state of peace and well-being is your natural right.
We can be happy when things go well: we have a new baby, or a wonderful job, or enjoy lovely relationships...This is being happy because the external world gives us the things we want. What if the world decides not to give you all the good things associated with happiness? This is the discovery of people in extreme situations: you can be in a state of internal peace that is not dependent of external circumstances. It is like being unconditionally happy: being at peace with your life and living fully in the moment.
Now that scientists can measure brain activity, this sense of inner happiness is a measurable physiological state characterized by a very distinct brain activity. Painful habits have their own brain patterns. To learn how to be happy, says the Dalai Lama:
"One begins identifying those factors which lead to happiness, and those factors which lead to suffering. Then you go eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness."
What all this talk has to do with you? Sometimes, we have talked here about detaching from the impact of your husband's behavior on you: learning to ignoring his responses when they are aggravating preserves your sanity. Now we know that detaching is part of the process of "eliminating those factors which lead to suffering." By teaching yourself not to be affected by his behavior, you can begin to cancel out an important source of pain.
What else could you do to connect with your inner source of happiness? There is more coming here, so leave your comments and questions below, so we can create a thread of conversations...
PD. Have you seen my Kindle book? Boosting your self-esteem, be your own heroine!