Such a simple statement, often said in exasperation or perhaps with a touch of resignation.
When we think of happiness, we think of a state of being or a goal. Even the U.S. Constitution alludes to its attainment. But happiness is not an end in itself; rather, it is evidence. It is a byproduct of a life well lived. Happiness is a signal from that wise part of ourself that we are going in the right direction.
And when I say wise I don’t mean guru-on-the-mountain wise. I’m referring to don’t-get-eaten-by-the-tiger wise. Think about it. When our ancestors were on the hunt, they must have felt good when they were hot on the trail of their prey or when they found the blueberry patch that would feed the tribe.
Happiness is our reward for being in alignment with our needs.
Our most dreaded feelings may be our saving grace.
Feelings are feedback. When we feel depressed or anxious, it is a message to self that we have strayed from our path. When we don’t feel good, it means that something needs to be healed. It seems obvious enough yet it is easy to forget when we feel the pain of unhappiness and just want it to go away.
As it happens, the most rewarding way to make it “go away” is to truly address the cause. It may not be the fastest way, but it is the most sustainable. If you are missing your happiness and experiencing fear and sadness, ask yourself, “What needs to be healed in my life? What needs to be restored and how can I restore it?”
Sometimes this is hard to do alone. It is good to have help along the way. When you choose someone to help you feel better, look for someone who listens, asks great questions and then listens some more.
We are here to help you
Contact Dr. Teray at Berkeley Naturopathic Medical Group for a mental health consultation.