Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chosing happiness

Telfon brougt up 3 questions in his blog Marathon Sprint:
  1. Have you experienced long-cycle changes that are hard to spot in the moment?
  2. How did you see them?
  3. What did you do with them?
A few came to my mind - but the most significant was my goal of choosing happiness.

Obtaining temporary Joy
I used to be the kind of person who would be very sad if I didn't get what I wanted in life. For many years I would fantacies about jumping in front of a train - and my reason for not doing it was: "what if nobody noticed".

Looking back I can see how these thought kept me buzy enough to never figuring out how to solve my problems. When I wanted to get away from those crazy thougths I would lift weights or row - which did feel good and it did get me on the national team, but it didn't solve my problems but it gave me a temporary feeling of joy.

Later I realised that there might be people knowing that I was gone - so I changed my fear for dying AND nobody noticing that I was dead to: being afraid that I would not succeed in killineg myself - somebody would find me - so "I would be a failure: not only for giving up on lif, but also for not succeeding".

I decided that if I could find a man who would love me and create a family, then I would be happy. I basically made my happiness dependent on having a family.

What I would look for in a relationship was: does he love me? am I good enough? - I didn't pose questions such as: what are his values? is he fun and interessting to be with, it was all about "does he love me".

When someone feel in love with me I was happy - but it was again a temporary joy. When the relationship ended I would decide that I was not worth loving - something was wrong with me.

It ended in a servere depression.

Short after the depression I met a woman who introduced me to the idea that Happiness was a choise. The look in her eyes told me that she had something that I wanted: She was happy.

Looking back I might not have had many rolemodels for modelling happiness.

Choosing happiness
When I took a programe called Inner Strength I had a clear decision that I wanted to learn to be happy and this is when I took the name Joy. At that time I had no idea how many challenges it would take for me to learn to chose happiness.

First I learned that I could always choose to be happy a few minutes.
This was kind of the sprint happiness. It was good practice in how does it actually feel to be happy. - can you hear the but comming up - BUT sprint-happiness is like when you chose to have had a happy childhood because it has helped you learn some tools and not simply because you are just happy knowing that you have had whatever childhood you had.

Sprint happiness can be eating your favorite icecream enjoying the taste, go for a run, laugh at a funny movie, watch a beautiful sunset. Sprint happiness is when you does these things because you want to feel happy. Sprint happiness is when you
were not happy but then you decided to be happy so you decided to do these wonderful things - but you are not really sure that you will stay happy after those things are over.

Sprint happiness can be pretty exhausting!!!

The good thing about sprint happiness was practicing having a happy feeling. I still held on to the misery or the possible future misery. I had my own private "sell-by date". I had decided that if choosing happiness didn't give me what I wanted I could just commit suicide. I had even picked the date (which happend to be the birthday of my friend Tomas - I was never good at remembering birthday).

Without a permanent job, boyfriend or home - but almost permanent back pains I started to learn the longdistance happiness.

The longdistance happiness is not being happy about anything in particular - it is just being happy because I am.

Two of my ways to finding it was marathontraining and meditations - but this blog has also supported me: since knowing what I do and why I do it at anytimes is a great way to stop self-judgements.

One day I realised that I could sit next to a depressed friend, watching the swans and the springtime sun. I could be happy while he was depressed. And the most important thing for me was: I did not need him to be happy.

One day I realised that I could be happy even when backpains kept me from doing my marathontraining - I could be happy even if I would not make it at the marathon.

Staying happy
Not needing others to be happy was a great step to stay happy. Another step was not needing me to be happy: I can have times where I feel discomfort or anger - and yet somehow at the same time I am happy. I am happy that I don't need to change my mood - I also don't have to react to my anger or discomfort - I will simply observe it - and smile.

The steps I took was:

1. first I chose that I wanted to be happy, I kept the vision alive for myself.
2. I celebrated some of the milestones on the way - and kept reminding me that this was important. I saw the changes because I looked for them.
3. Now I use my happiness to retrieve new goals.

I don't really need confirmation on my happiness - but I often get it from collegues, friends and strangers.

This summer my girlfriends ten yrs old said:

The most extrodinary about you is that you always are happy!

I know that there are many happy people reading this blog - and I hope that the persons who are not happy knows that unhappiness is no better or worse than happiness - I just think that happiness is more fun!!

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