New Year, New Misery?

Every year we all do it. We make our list, we check it again and then we tell ourselves this is it. Then time passes and as we get closer and closer to the new year we think about those things we didn’t accomplish. Those things we could’ve done, the weight we could’ve lost, the relationship we could’ve been in. Then bam the new year is here, and we spend the rest of the month, week, day making NEW awe inspiring, deathly unreachable goals. As this cycle keeps repeating we simply feel worse then we did before, and we know what comes next, another year of misery or worse unhappiness.

The irony is, these goals are set with the idea that when we reach them we will acquire the supreme happiness we have always wanted. Why then do we do this to ourselves year after year becoming more miserable after seeing what we didn’t accomplish.

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” -Albert Camus

Unfortunately, most of us try to cheat the system of happiness. We create prerequisites of certain conditions or things that MUST take place for our moment of happiness to finally arrive and stick. With this type of momentary happiness, we are always waiting on the next thing as opposed to being happy now.

We tell ourselves that we must understand every reason why we’re unhappy, and the result is always the same, we become stuck in unhappiness. The overanalyzing of your life and the constant thoughts of what we are missing create a perpetual act of waiting. Most of us are waiting for happiness (some magical scenario that’s the equivalence of a unicorn) to be happy. This happiness procrastination creates a perpetual paralyzing state.

Fortunately, there are some ways to forge past this, starting with no longer procrastinating by creating excuses to not be happy. This is not only self-defeating to you but does a disservice to the world, your family, and community at large. Life is about learning from your trials, failures, and misjudgments, so don’t lose any more time trying to solve the mystery of unhappiness and just live in the now.

How, you ask?

  1. Instead of trying to tame each emotion and say my feeling is wrong actually embrace it. If you are sad be sad, if you are angry be angry, if you are in love be in love, if you are joyful be joyful. The more you feel your emotions the less you fight against the feeling. I.e. I shouldn’t be sad I need to make myself happy, or I shouldn’t be this happy I feel guilty that I’m happy but so and so is sad. When you allow yourself to feel the full weight of your emotions you can embrace the now. This expression will allow yourself to deepen your capacity and connection to yourself and TRUE happiness.

  2. Connecting to your emotions will actually give you a genuine picture and allow you to love yourself, without apology. We should all no longer place prerequisites on ourselves to love ourselves. Self-love is not self-deprecation and self-defeating dialogue of, if only I could lose 10 pounds, run a marathon, get a new job etc.… Majority of us use self-deprecation to point out our flaws to ourselves, as we want growth.

  3. Growth however is not about self-improvement so don’t treat yourself as a home improvement project that is never quite good enough or finished. We all have grown from last week, but we don’t tell ourselves about that amazing growth. If you look at your life though you can see the growth that you have had day to day, month to month and year to year. If we started telling ourselves about our growth and not just our misery we would see our tremendous growth and start to limit our internal doubtful dialogue.

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

- Mother Theresa

The hunger mentioned above cannot be quenched by material things, other people loving you, or going somewhere new–it has to be an internal shift of self-recognition that moves you to self-acceptance. 

I ask you, have you made the commitment to your own happiness? Only you can decide to wake up and choose love and happiness every day. You are the key to your happiness. The question is, do you have the courage to take the time today without delay to defeat unhappiness?