The Great Illusion: I Will Be Happy When…

I will be happy when… 

From birth, we are conditioned to the stories and myths of our family which include culture, religion, and all other various forms of social constructs. When we step back to look throughout the world’s diverse cultures, of course we see that outwardly there are really some differences but the goal is often similar – to meet Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Reflect closely on how the stories of your upbringing promised to satisfy all the levels of needs:

If you go to school, then…
If you are a good citizen, then…
If you behave, then…
If you marry and have children, then…
If you buy a house, then…
If you believe in so and so, then…

Look how each culture weaves a tale of promise that with the completion of these tasks will be some kind of longstanding happiness.

Please tell me, has that proven to be true in your life?

In no way am I implying you should or should not pursue what you believe are your dreams, but tell me… have you found what you are seeking?

First, I would ask, “What are you actually seeking as you live to attain these goals?”

Is it fame, fortune, recognition, possessions, titles, temporary experience?

What is it really that these social goals promise us?

Have you personally met someone that has supposedly checked off the proverbial boxes of goals and yet is miserable and at a dinner gathering complains and complains about the woes of life, and yet, from an outsiders perspective we say they have everything, yet nothing? What is going on here? Why didn’t the promise work?

And then, sometimes we meet a person that has not checked off the boxes and they are joyful and lighthearted… please, do not think that those that checked off the box are not capable of joy but the point is if I spoke with them and asked what is it that makes them joyous, I have a sense that it would not be the check marks.

Imagine you have gone to school, graduated top of your class, earning good money, traveling, owned a home and car, and unhappily married… what will the dominant focus be in your consciousness? All that you possess or the unhappy relationship?

So with this example, we can see that the belief may be that only if ALL the boxes are checked off then I will be happy. Do you see the absurdity of this set-up in life? At each point that you check off a box, a moment or short period of excitement will display itself, followed by the statement – “Now what?”

If the check mark worked, we would feel deeply content for a much longer time.

So, is there such an experience that is steady no matter what outer circumstances arise and no matter how many boxes are checked? Can we “see” the preciousness of our existence and experience the splendor and wonder of having an opportunity to glimpse the miraculous display called life? 

When you open your eyes and see the beauty around you, all kinds of beauty, in the joys and sufferings of existence, then your heart will burst open and you will be flooded with the experience of your full participation within the cosmos. Not as a standby passenger looking out, but a being fully immersed as the universe. There is no inside and outside. 

Therefore, our pursuits pale in comparison to the recognition and AWE of the mystery of existence. Remember to feel the fullness now and not when the check marks happen. Do not wait because at some point you will realize all the boxes have been checked off but you have missed the opportunity of the miraculous…

 

About Alex Boianghu

Journey to Wholeness - About Alex Boianghu - Psychotherapist | HappyWith Journey to Wholeness, my aim is to make psychotherapy readily available to everyone around the world in the comfort and privacy of their homes.

In addition to psychotherapy, I am offering a variety of courses, practices, articles and videos covering a wide range of psycho-spiritual topics. Please feel free to get in touch with me for a free 15-minute consultation in which we can address your questions and discuss a plan of action for your specific needs.

I am deeply moved to walk together on the path of healing with YOU.  Join me!

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