How many of us have said to our friends, our partners, our coworkers, or our therapists, “I just want to be happy.” This seems to be the absolute attainment if we can get there. If we can just get to happy, then everything will resolve itself and everything will be as it should be.
I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s work in Daring Greatly and she talks about robbing ourselves of joy or experiencing Foreboding Joy. While so many of us have just wanted to be happy, we find ourselves in the moments of happiness or joyfulness robbing ourselves of that very moment. It could be when we are getting back to our desks after a presentation that we just knocked right out of the park and we think to ourselves, “yeah, but remember that time you choked up in front of the CEO?” Or maybe it is the time when you received a lovely note from your partner and you are touched by the thoughtfulness, but you think of that time that you didn’t show up for them how you needed to and end up reminding yourself that you really do not deserve their thoughtfulness.
I am sure that we can all come up with moments where we rob ourselves of the joy of living in the moment and instead find ourselves worrying about past things that have happened or about the future threats that will destroy the joy.
Perhaps one of the secrets to finding happiness is to try to as much as possible, live in the moment and be present in the moment. If we end up worrying about the past or future, we end up worrying about things that do not actually exist. We will never live in our past or future, we will only ever live in the here and now. So, live in the moment by engaging with your five senses, of really being mindful and intentional about how you engage in those joyful moments. Find ways to soften yourself towards being more vulnerable and open to experiencing joy, contentment, peace or whatever other positive feelings and thoughts come over you. Allow those to happen and become curious about your experience through them by asking yourself what these positive emotions might mean. Why are they meaningful? How does joy feel in your body? How can you express this joy? How can you share your joyful moment with others if you would like to?