#3. Stairway to Complete Happiness

#3. Stairway to Complete Happiness


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Love Life, every aspect of it! Life Purpose Letters are soulful stories with food for thought and simple mindfulness and journaling practices to help you Master your Life every day.

 
#purposeeveryday

"We all want to be happy, however, not all of us are. This fact on its own gives us a sense of purpose"

 
Eunice Frijde

Dear friend,

From happiness to complete despair. From despair to complete happiness – it’s a flight of stairs between two opposites. In the past thirty-nine years, I have walked down and up again. Do you remember that children’s song, "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands" ? I’m not only clapping my hands when I’m happy.

 

It dawned on me last summer while having a drink with a friend on the beach. He asked why I’m so passionate about spiritual-storytelling and coaching. I replied without thinking, "Because I know mental suffering". It was the first time I said it out loud and it caught me by surprise. Life can look picture perfect from the outside, but on the inside we feel bruised and empty; like a squeezed orange. A short description of how I felt during my teens and twenties - for years happiness seemed like this angelic echo coming from the top of a flight of stairs.

 

Incomplete happiness

Today in my late thirties, I experience the opposite. Whilst talking about life, love and intimacy with friends over a cup of tea last week, one of them commented that I have such a happy and positive mindset. I almost wanted to start clapping, however, with that conversation on the beach last summer still fresh in my mind, I realised that my happiness is still incomplete.

 

During all those years of healing myself, and transforming my life, I also started to listen to others. I discovered how many of us are experiencing this mental pain filled with sadness, anger, anxiety, stress and disappointments, and are suffering on a daily basis, while others might think we have a pretty good life going for us. I see so many people struggling with themselves, or in relationships, school, at work, in life. They don’t know what to do, who they are, where they are heading, always searching, always restless, always thinking, always in a hurry. So out of balance or stuck in life.

 

Nowadays, in the midst of my happiness, I connect on a deeper level with a soft spot. An open wound within me that has left me with a level of sensitivity, that when I feel others' emotions I quiver all over. I came to realize that another person’s unhappiness is as painful to me as my own. It is as if my body is the thinnest, finest sheet around my soul, incapable of protecting me against the suffering in this world.

 

Complete despair

Ironically, all those years when I was down, I was cleverly hiding this soft spot. As a result, I felt numb, immune to my true feelings, afraid of being hurt and of being seen as a failure, because I have been told that only the strongest survive. I was in constant fear that if I showed how soft I truly am, someone would rub salt into my wounds. In my memory this had happened countless times.  Life can be so harsh. When we grow up, it’s a painful reality that the world isn’t perfect and others will never act like we want them to. Our parents make mistakes, lovers hurt us, friends disappoint us, and we learn to fear our enemies.  In the process of trying to protect ourselves we cover up the one thing where complete happiness resides.

 

Sometimes I read in online articles that the number of prescribed antidepressants have increased significantly over the last decade, having more than doubled in some western countries. This makes me question, are we collectively numbing ourselves to be able to continue with our daily life, or are we recognizing our mental pain? Not only the amount of pills but also the amount of people interested in mindfulness, meditation, yoga and other aspects of eastern philosophy or esoteric healing is increasing. In these modern times where new technologies are an essential part of our daily life, are we desperately looking for ways to re-connect with ‘something’ that does not have a microchip? Are we realizing more and more that happiness and peace lie within, and that in vulnerability lays our strength?      

 

Complete happiness

In my own healing process I discovered that in my soft spot resides my passion, and compassion for others. In there I find my purpose. The significance of pain is not to let it grow into monstrous proportions and to transform itself into suffering that will bite us in the ass.  Pain challenges us to seek the truth. Therefore, nowadays I’m saying with pride, "I know mental suffering". I’m thankful for every tear I have shed because I felt my pain or those of others. I plead that we learn that wherever we are: happy; hurting; searching for ourselves, inner-peace or divine intervention; tired of singing a sad old song like Sade’s King of Sorrow; wearing a smile like a pair of saggy jeans; numb; have given up hope, feeling insecure or worthless….We clap our hands for courageous honesty! Because wherever we are, we are always on some step of that stairway to complete happiness.


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Food for thought 

All change begins when we are courageously honest with ourselves every day, instead of hiding our feelings under the carpet. To ask ourselves how we are every day is a key ingredient for living our life in alignment with our purpose. Another important aspect is not to judge ourselves or to be ashamed when we aren’t well. Being courageously honest is already worthy of applause. 


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Practice

Do you ask yourself on a daily basis, how am I doing? As a Life Purpose Coach, I encourage you to do so and to write down the answer. This helps you to keep track of your personal development. Sometimes it helps to do it in a letter form. You can address the letter to yourself or to someone else.

 Try it! You need a pen, your journal or a piece of paper.

Take some quiet time for yourself. Focus on your breath! Inhale deeply, and exhale all the air out of your lungs. Repeat this cycle three times. Simply relax and enjoy this quality time with yourself. When you feel you are (a bit more) relaxed, get your pen. Write down the date on the top of the page, continue with addressing the letter to someone and start your letter with the question, How am I today? For example:

December 11th, 2017

Dear Eunice,

How am I today?........

Answer this question from the bottom of your heart, honestly, courageously; without any shame or judgement.

When you have answered the question, inhale deeply and exhale all the air out of your lungs. Repeat this cycle three times. Relax and enjoy this quality time.

Continue this practice with reading your own writing. Close the practice with saying out loud to yourself: 'Thanks for this quality time.' 

You can repeat this practice as much as you like. When you do it on a daily basis, I advise you to do it either in the morning, evening or both. It helps you to keep track of your personal development.  

If you want someone to listen to how you are feeling, or if you want to send your letters to someone who is interested in reading them (confidentiality guaranteed)

Contact me .

A friendly smile,

Eunice

Life Purpose Coach & Spiritual-Storyteller

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