Choose to feel happy

UNIVERSE WITHIN by Gwen Randall-Young

Portrait of Gwen Randall-Young

A miracle is a shift in perception … it can happen in an instant.
– A Course in Miracles

Sometimes life events affect us in a negative way. I often hear my clients say, “It’s just not fair!” The way they are treated at work is not fair. The way mom treats her adult children is not fair. It’s not fair that others have more money or an easier time in life. It’s not fair they have an illness. It’s even not fair that someone else won the lottery!

The inner child somehow feels everything should be fair and the ego carries this belief into adulthood. As mature adults, we know well that life is not fair. There are many who seem to be much better off than we are; then again, so many seem to be much worse off.

Perhaps because parents do such a good job of keeping things fair with us as children, we expect the world will treat us the same way. However, there is no dispenser of life experiences with the job of ensuring everyone is treated equally. Not even God, although even God gets blamed for life’s unfairness.

If we focus on things being unfair, we put ourselves in the position of victim and either feel sorry for ourselves or lash out at the world. That generally attracts more negative experiences, thus reaffirming our belief that life is not fair to us.

If we look at our lives this way, we can never be happy because there will always be someone who seems to have it better. If we shift our perspective, however, we can create our own happiness that does not depend on what happens outside of us. It sounds simple, but if we focus on what we do have and what is right in our lives rather than what is missing or wrong, we can feel blessed all the time. We may not be able to change the external reality, but we can choose how we look at it.

We can also think about empowering ourselves. The child feels powerless to change how he feels. The child looks to others for fulfillment of his needs. The wise adult can begin to take care of their inner child’s emotional needs. We seek validation from others when we are not validating ourselves. We seek approval from others when we are not fully accepting ourselves. We look to the world to fill our cup when we are not filling it ourselves.

In my experience with clients, it seems one of the hardest things is to establish a truly loving and nurturing relationship with ourselves. This love needs to be unconditional. It is not based on how much we have, what we have achieved, how we look, how we perform or what others think of us.

It is akin to getting off the emotional grid where we depend on things outside of ourselves to make us feel good and becoming instead the generator of our own self-love, self-worth, self-confidence and, ultimately, our own happiness.

The new living translation of Corinthians 13 says, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”

It would seem this was written to show us how we should love others. However, there is great wisdom in applying these principles to the way we love ourselves. There is no place in this conception of a loving soul for any thoughts about things not being fair. We transcend that way of thinking and evolve into a new way of being.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca

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