The only way to true happiness is learning how to accept yourself fully, which means the good, the bad and the ugly. There is really no other path.
One’s happiness can never be found outside of the self. It is not in religion, it is most definitely not in a significant other, nor is it in financial freedom or even your dream job. All the answers and all the happiness you can generate for yourself lie only within you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for religion or anything that connects you to the Divine, but to see religion as your redemption is putting the responsibility outside of you. It is just the same as saying that finding the perfect partner is the answer; it is not. It never has been and never will be. There is absolutely nothing outside of yourself that can bring you happiness. Happiness comes from within and only within.
Once that is realized, however, everything else will fall into place—the great job, the awesome romantic partner, the money to travel. Self-awareness, self-love, self-acceptance—these are really the only answers for achieving wholeness, happiness, positivity and tranquility in your life. Here are some lessons I have learned, and there are more that I am continuing to learn.
It is always about you.
Everything that happens in your life is created energetically by you. The universe is a mirror of what is going on in your life. If you find yourself irritated at someone, ask yourself this question: What about this person is irritating me? The answer is, 100 percent of the time, something within you or something that is present within you that you refuse to accept.
This is true for close, intimate relationships as well as for casual encounters. You will find that the greatest irritants in your life are actually people who are your greatest teachers. Adjust, fix, accept what you are not acknowledging within you (which is why it irritates you in the first place); then you will find that the action of the other no longer bothers you.
We are our own worst judge.
Taking from the lessons learned in No. 1, note the number of times you judge others during the day. If you find that you have stopped judging others, hats off to you, because this means that you have stopped judging yourself and that you have already achieved self-acceptance in your life.
Make a mental rundown of how many times you’ve said something negative about another person. Do this objectively, and without judging your thoughts and actions, whether it is their manner of speaking or manner of dress or even just their social media posts.
Whenever you judge another, this is an alarm bell to tell you to stop judging yourself. The same goes for people who get irritated at others who judge. It means you judge yourself a lot, too. When you stop judging yourself, even those who judge others will not bother you because you just see it as a fact, without judgment and without pure neutrality.
We are beings of shadow and light.
Just as you would stay away from someone super toxic and super negative, you ought to stay away from those overly positive people who pretend they are perfection personified. True spiritual beings, teachers, seekers and practitioners know and accept both their shadow side and their amazing positive side.
You are all that—shadow and light. To ignore your shadow is to deny a part of you. You need to acknowledge your shadow, know what triggers it and allow yourself to experience emotions such as anger, sadness, melancholy, because this is part of your human existence.
Being happy doesn’t mean you will never be sad again, or that you are skipping through life; it just means that you are able to accept everything about you. These are not negative emotions; they are real emotions that are part of your being.
Learn to be mindful of these emotions so that you can experience them when necessary. But go beyond them and focus on your light because you realize that the shadow is only temporary. To deny your shadow will make it fight to live, and it will try to surface so that you can acknowledge it.
Accepting your shadow will trigger temporary shadow responses, but it will not try to take you over because you have embraced your light.
Mind your own business.
You have all the power, resources, capabilities and abilities to change anything about yourself that no longer serves you. You have zero power to change another human being, including your own children. This journey of self-awareness is about you and only you—not because you are selfish, but because you understand the need to be whole in order to fully give.
Everything and everyone in your life is a mirror of your inner relationship with yourself. See everything as an opportunity toward self-acceptance. What is it about me that I need to accept today? Note that I am not saying, what is it about me that I need to fix or change? That point of view comes from a perception of lack. There is no lack, there is only acceptance.
You are not broken. This very minute is the most perfect expression of who you are. Whether you choose to evolve into a better person tomorrow is entirely up to you. So think of yourself as if you were on a journey of making something good better, and not fixing yourself because you are broken.
You accept who you are, which means recognizing and acknowledging everything that is good about you, adjusting what no longer serves you and accepting what is not so nice about you as part of who you are that you can tweak accordingly.
It may sound like wordplay, but that’s exactly what it is—it is all in the phrasing. If you speak, think and act in the positive, you will draw the same toward you.
Like will always attract like.
I’ve written about this many times; just remember this law: When you learn how to accept yourself, you will have zero drama in life. That’s a major reason right there. You will also experience love, acceptance, trust and openness like you have never experienced or felt before.
You will easily and effortlessly accept others for who they are, because you have already done this for yourself. You will look through anything or anyone you have ever judged before, including yourself. You become neutral.
This is happiness, when nothing affects you, and when it does, you just adjust because you know now that this is a part of you that you need to address. You just become you—the best version of you.