Are You Ready for Happiness?

by P. Braithwaite

I love when my best friend comes to visit. We’ll call her Trela. She makes me happy (if its possible for one person to do that for another). She doesn’t come often, but when she does we do weird things like meditate together, sage my apartment, and eat sushi. We also watch trash tv and talk a lot of shit.

On her last visit, we were perusing the shelves of Barnes & Noble, when she picked up a book called, The Happiness Project. She flipped through it. According to the book jacket, the author spent a year of her life trying and testing the methods that supposedly lead to happiness. It sounded pretty dope to me, but Trela tilted her head from one side to the other and tossed the book back on the table.

“I don’t think I’m quite ready to be happy.”

“That’s really deep,” I replied. I was prepared to launch into an intense philosophical discussion about what she’d just said, but Trela shrugged and picked up the latest Game of Thrones installment.

She is both very deep and very dismissive. 🙂

In her offhand and effortless way, Trela hinted at a profound truth — we are only experience as much happiness as we’re ready for. We are only as happy as we allow ourselves to be. Happiness is a choice. It doesn’t feel like it, but it is. Its not something that we have to pursue as much as its something we have to step into. If happiness is winter, we have to brace ourselves to go outside. If its summer, we’ve got to get naked so we can be comfortable in it’s heat. We must make ourselves accessible to happiness, but we don’t need to quest for it — its not at the top of a corporate ladder or the bottom of beautiful woman.

Happiness is an internal condition. We must open the door to our hearts to let happiness in….

Now, I should add that just because happiness is our natural state, doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. Just like skinny dipping, stepping into happiness requires bravery and courage. It requires nakedness and vulnerability and loss of inhibitions.

That’s why most of us decide to chase it’s shadow.

I promise: happiness is right here, right now — right in between the shadows of stress, and fear. It’s standing in the shadow of that thing you “think” you need. So lets stop chasing the shadows. Let’s all let go of weight loss, of self-help, of scarcity, and of longing for The Besticle…and we’ll see happiness was right there all along.

I don’t live in this space every second of every day, but I’ve been there enough to know the path.

And, what I’ve learned is that when you decide that you’re happy: those things you work so hard for seem to fall in line. So much of my learning is about making myself ready with the same unwavering trust (and excitement) that I prepare myself for bed. No matter the delay, or circumstances… When I’m ready, I always get to bed.

Let’s get in bed together and make comforter angels. Lets sleep on clouds of cotton and marvel at the softness. Happiness is right there…waiting.

If you were ready to claim happiness NOW, what would have to change? What would preparedness require? Are you ready for happiness?

I am…