Happy New Year!
As we step into 2019, you have most likely found yourself setting goals and intentions for this next year and possibly wondering: "how am I going to keep these goals?" "How will I find success?" Or maybe you are asking yourself, "what do I need to learn about myself this year?" Or, "who do I want to become"? Or possibly, "what do I need to do to be happier?"
In order to achieve success, we must first be happy. And to achieve happiness, we must first be happy with ourselves. But to be happy with ourselves, we must first be able to accept ourselves and understand ourselves completely. Understanding ourselves is also what allows us to change our behaviors to become who we wish to be.
So then, how to we understand ourselves completely? We must be our own teacher, and our own student. We must be, however challenging it is, completely open to carefully observing and facing ourselves fiercly and in all honesty, holding nothing back. We must prepare ourselves to face truths about ourselves - whether they are beautiful or ugly; without running away, however guilty, anxious, or hard it feels. We must be willing to lay bare who we are, covering nothing up and no longer choose to only see the pleasant side of ourselves. We must learn to face ourselves with courage, and realize that our instinct is to lie to ourselves so that we can ignore or make peace with the parts of our selves that we do not like, or cannot accept.
If we aspire to find real solutions in our lives, to become true to our self and the best, most happiest version of our self, that it is of vital importance that we see ourselves entirely, and not just the parts that we like about ourselves.
So where to we begin the journey to observe, reflect, enquire and understand ourselves?
In our relationships. For the truth us that we can only observe ourselves in relationships because all life is relationships. Each of us exists in relation with other people, other things, and ideas. We can only see our thoughts, emotions, reactions and responses when we interact with other people and things; so it is only through these interactions that we can gain an understanding of our self.
Learning to see oneself wholly - without judgement and covering up of the uncomfortable - is one of the most challenging things you can do, but it is paramount to truly understanding and accepting yourself, which in turn allows you to be happy. For we cannot be happy as long as our happiness is dependant on material things, or the love, acceptance and validation of others. When our feeling about our self is dependant on anything other than our self, we can never truly take control of our own lives; our happiness will fluctuate with the emotions or choices of others and with our life circumstances.
It is possible to believe that we are in control of ourselves, but yet unknowingly attach some, if not all, of our current happiness and satisfaction on our current relationships or circumstances. Then, at the inevitable point that our circumstances fluctuate or change towards the negative, or someone lets us down, we lose our happiness. We then begin the search for new happiness elsewhere, a painful and tiring process.
If we can learn to seek kindness and love from within, we become more capable of navigating changes in circumstance or relationship with grace, love and joy, which minimizes the pain we experience in life and allows us to live in a continual state of happiness.
So then, to achieve true happiness we must look within, and to understand what it within, we must look at our self within relationship - with others, with objects, beliefs and ideas. This can be a challenging and daunting process and you may be unsure of where to begin.
We invite you to join us for our upcoming Monthly Meditation where we will meditate on and discuss the practice of looking within one's self for the loving kindness we need to accept and understand ourselves, that will in turn allow us to experience true happiness and success.