“You won´t be happy with “more” until you are happy with what you have”. Viki King
Some years ago I decided that I was going to see if I could figure out the source of my own unhappiness. I was opening my counseling office at the time and thought if I could figure out what made “me” unhappy, it might give me insight into my clients.
I was trying to intentionally increase my self-awareness at the time, so paying attention to my feelings every time I found my self feeling unhappy, seemed like a great plan. I would be “killing two psychological birds with one stone”.
I had no idea that this simple experiment was about to lead to the most helpful insight about myself that I have ever discovered, and change my life in ways I would never have imagined.
But back to my story.
So I got out an old journal, carried it with me 24/7 and began writing down and analyzing the source of my unhappy feelings every time I became aware of being sad, unhappy, or hurt. It wasn’t long before I began to realize that I was actually more unhappy than I had realized. Here I was, opening a counseling practice to help others, and I wasn’t happy myself. Of course this sobering realization made me even more unhappy.
Eventually I saw it…the insight hit me…I got it! The source of my unhappiness, my disappointments, my hurt feelings always followed an expectation that had failed to live up to my “expectations”. Talk about circular logic.
That simple insight changed my life. The wisdom of the spiritual teachers who taught that happiness is about living in the moment with acceptance began to make sense.
Over time I was able to better identify and then let go of my many wants and expectations. As this spiritual practice deepened, my feelings of disappointment and sadness begin to disappear…along with my primitive ego’s relationship destroying need to blame others for “my own” feelings.
Today I understand and accept that expectations are nothing more than illusions and wishes created inside our own mind. They have nothing to do with external reality.
Unfortunately, because our primitive ego narcissistically believes that it “is” the center of the universe, it takes our wants and expectations and narcissistically “assumes” that the universe “should” make them come true. A good example of childhood magical thinking.
Even if we share our expectations with another person, we are simply sharing a wish or a “want” that the other person is in no way obligated to accept or satisfy.
If we want to be happy we have to live our lives fully awake and be self-aware. We need to;
- step back periodically and intentionally remind ourselves to embrace reality,
- reaffirm that it’s time to get back to living in the moment and accepting what “is” and stop blaming others for the feelings we have created for ourselves through our own narcissistic expectations,
- not get narcissistically caught up in self-created illusions,
- reaffirm that just because we might want something or expect something, it does not mean that the universe is obligated to provide it, and most importantly,
- remember that our core-consciousness, the narcissistic unconscious primitive ego of our inner-child is always going to be present in our psyche.
Our mind will never run out of wants and wishes…….those subtle code words we use to describe our “expectations”. But if we can learn to stay awake and intentionally work on becoming more self-aware, we will see our expectations as the “unhappiness-creating-illusions” they really are.
Finding Happiness: Essays on Awakening to the Joy of Everyday Life
by Dick Rauscher offers the reader practical everyday skills and insights needed for both psychological and spiritual growth in human consciousness, tips on how to embrace the happiness you discover in your life, how to create healthier relationships, and most importantly, how to grow spiritually.