I find a lot of the time, when people are not happy in their lives, they always look externally for the fix. Why do we do this? True happiness comes from within, and people who are truly happy seem to radiate their happy energy on to others.
When we are not truly happy with ourselves, no matter where we go to find our fix, we always end up back in the same place. People often feel an emptiness inside which they are always trying to fill. Truth is until we figure out how to be content with ourselves we will always be looking externally, and although we may temporarily be able to fill the gap, at some stage or another, it will creep back in. As humans we automatically look for the next thing to fill that gap.
We depend on other people and other things to make us feel good and content. We some how believe when we get the car we want, the house, the girlfriend/boyfriend, the money etc. we will then be happy. Then we find when we have the car, the house, the relationship, the money etc. after the intial buzz of getting it, we find that feeling comes back. After a while the feeling of getting the thing we thought we wanted wears off, and were on to the next desire. Most people spend their whole life moving from, the wanting of one thing to the next.
This generally stems from the insecurity of not being good enough and not being happy with ourselves. Until we are able to love ourselves flaws and all, we will always be looking externally for the next fix to make us feel better.
This is also true with drug and alcohol addictions. We are not happy with just being, we need to intoxicate ourselves to be able to just be. Some people in life never stop and just take in the moment, or if they do they need to be intoxicated to be able to sit in it.
Anyone who has ever been under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both will know, on the outside they seem chilled out, when under the influence the mind does not stop. The cogs in your head keep going, no matter how calm you may look on the surface. Depending on the addiction this sometimes also gets turned around. When you are so used to being under the influence of substances, you feel calm however the anxiety of needing your next hit soon kicks in and your mind is ticking away thinking about how to get it. This can make many situations considered ‘normal’ very difficult.
If you are used to having a substance daily, and you are required to go away maybe with a work trip or a family occasion, the mind automatically starts to think of what to do if you are unable to carry on your daily habit. We begin to get anxious leading up to the event. Trying to figure out, over and over in our minds, how we can keep up this habit, and also, for it to be unnoticed by those around us. This is one of the main causes of why someone who is addicted to a substance (although even they may not realise they are addicted) become anti-social. They form a relationship with their ‘outlet’ which comes above everything else.
Until one is happy with ones self, nothing we do or use to escape will ever bring us the contentment and self love we desire. But whilst under the influence because these feelings are temporarily blocked, we associate the feelings and see the addiction as the fix.
People with addictive personalities are usually the people who have been told throughout life they are not good enough, or are made to feel that way by external influences. The main influence is normally our families, or people close to us. Others may not do or say these things intentionally, it may merely because they had the same external forces through out life, it’s quite simple, it is all they know. They don’t know how to be a different way. There is no point trying to change these people by verbally saying anything. Sometimes we need to show them a different way.
By no means am I saying don’t try to talk to them and tell them how you feel. If you think the person will understand and take your points on board then that’s great, it makes things easier. However, if that person/people have also been bought up this way they will not see what they are doing as wrong.
The best way of people learning a new way is by experiencing it themselves. When they get that good feeling and identify kindness is the source, if they want to keep hold of that feeling, they will then carry out similar if not the same actions to experience that feeling again. Ever heard the term people mirror each other? it’s true! What’s more, the more we behave this way and treat others with compassion and kindness, we get a good feeling within ourselves, and it makes us feel up lifted.
Another reason people find it difficult to be happy with themselves, is because as humans we hold on to the past. We replay situations and daily events over and over in our heads. We think of all of the other outcomes that could have been other then the one that was. Normally the thoughts we dwell over and keep replaying are the things we consider negative and bad, and they bring back that feeling of worthlessness and emptiness. This then turns into a vicious cycle and for addicts this is usually where they use their fix to rid the feelings.
When we perceive a situation as bad or wrong we need to take a step back, and take a big deep breath. We need to stop thinking about the worse case scenario as though it has already happened, and we need to bring ourselves back to the present moment. No situation is ever as bad as it seems, it’s only as bad as we allow it to be.
I had a very difficult time trying to figure out how stop my mind from over thinking these awful situations, which nine times out of 10 never actually happened. One day whilst listening to a reading from the Buddhist monk, Ajahn Brahm, he said something so simple which made so much sense, ‘Good? Bad? Who knows?’. As soon as I heard that saying, I felt something noticeably switch inside me and everything felt a lot lighter.
After a while of pondering over it, I came to realise it had bought me into the present moment. Whatever the situation I was thinking about, I didn’t know what would happen, and then I had what felt like a light bulb moment, patience that was the key that was what I had needed to be. I’ve always considered myself a very patient person. However, again for me I way always told by people close to me, that I was not, and I believed them. In fact, after hearing this over and over, I became inpatient with them, I became what their opinion of me was, with them. I found this rather amusing. When I was around different people, they would always comment on how patient and chilled out I was, because they allowed me to just be me.
As humans we will all have moments, where we may get angry, impatient, insecure etc. It’s normal, but we need to be kind to ourselves, and tell ourselves it’s fine, we understand we are feeling a certain way in the present moment, but also be aware the feeling will pass. When the feeling is there, feel it. By doing this you also allow yourself to see how strong you are emotionally. When you feel negative feelings, don’t try to block them embrace them, and accept they are just another part of you, for that moment whilst they are there. Then be proud of yourself for allowing yourself to feel, and for getting past that feeling.
People will always see you from their own perception, people judge others by their own standards. As Les Brown said, ‘never become someone else’s, opinion of you’. Spend time with yourself, read books do things you enjoy, experience the little pleasures in life, like walking on fresh grass with no shoes, the smell of fresh flowers, the sound of the birds chirping in the morning. Take a moment to look around you and look at the beauty within nature. Find what makes you happy, and when you identify it, do it more, make a point of making time in your life to be able to do the things you enjoy regardless of the opinions others. Never allow other people, too make you feel any less, just because they may not understand the things that make you happy. Like the old African proverb says, ‘When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you’.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. 🙂 xx