Do you want happiness if its dependent on things you can’t control?

Tom Shadyac, widely known for writing and directing the comedy films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Patch Adams, and Bruce Almighty, had a bike accident and injured his brain. His head hurt him so much for a year he could barely move.

When he started to get active again, he gave away most of his money and moved into a trailer park (albeit a nice one… but still).

What happened?

He said, “The word ‘happy’ comes from the word ‘happenstance.’ Which means, ‘something outside of yourself.’”

He said, “I wanted my happiness to come from something inside of myself. Nothing outside was going to make me happy.”

I’ve had occasion to think carefully about this recently. Because my brother’s come home to the house we share with his fiance who hates dogs and we’ve agreed I’ll move out and find somewhere else to live within six months.

Now, this is not the best time to go house hunting in the country right now. And I’m not even sure where I want to live. I moved here, north of Manchester because its where my brother had his house, but I have no real ties to the area except for the friends Amelia and I have made in the last year.

And those friends matter. They are like tiny, vulnerable little roots that haven’t had time to go very deep but they could do, if nurtured and given time. These links maybe have been intensified by the global pandemic and the Lockdown but Amelia and I have made a place for ourselves here and now we have to find a new place and I don’t even know where I want to go.

So for me, some sense of happiness definitely was derived from having a solid sense of place and the security that I felt around that, as well as from the daily routine of meeting our friends whilst walking twice a day.

And now that’s been ripped away.

Because it was based on things out of my control.

So what keeps me going? What gives me a sense of wellbeing and joy? Or simply a feeling of safety and stability?

I never thought I’d say this but its Faith.

Faith that everything always works out for the best for me and everyone else.

Faith that I am always taken care of and supported.

That faith has grown in recent months as I’ve done deeper work on myself and it is anchored in my belief that my thinking creates my life. Which is why, once I’ve quit wailing over the unfairness of it all, I get right into thinking where the good is in this challenge.

And I also have learned to hand it over. I wrote out a letter to my Higher Self, to God, to Source and expressed all my frustration, my sense of hopelessness and betrayal, my fear about where I might end up or how bad things could get for me.

I finished up by stating how I couldn’t do anymore than what I’m doing, I can’t carry on the struggle anymore and I surrendered and handed it over to my Higher Power. Because when I have faith that I am always taken care of and that things always work out perfectly for me and everyone else, then it is taken care of.

I don’t know how and I don’t need to know right now.

That’s the beauty of staying in NOW. You’re not trying to solve future problems, you do whatever’s put in front of you today.

I start by affirming that I am okay right now. I have a roof over my head, money in the bank, food in the fridge. Obviously, if you are dealing with immediate survival needs, you take care of them right away. I’m talking about worry and fear of what the future might hold. I let that go, I hand that over.

I know, I’m starting to sound religious here and I guess my spirituality is religious in one sense, in that I believe in God as the creative force of the Universe. But, I’m not talking about organised religion.

Its more my perception and belief that God exists in all of us, we are all God and connected to God as is everything that exists.

Which means when I focus on my thinking and concentrate on what I want; and my current RWID manta is Love, Home, Wealth, Success, Amelia, Faith, then that’s the energy and vibration I send out to God/Universe.

Now you may believe the Law of Attraction is a load of old tosh and I don’t blame you. It’s had some awful teachers spreading glib ideas of having everything you want just by thinking about it. That’s not what I’m talking about here.

But by focusing on what I want, by having a mantra that lifts me up and makes me feel good, I feel better. And when I feel better, I’m not in victim mode, I’m not defensive or aggressive, I’m not whining and complaining, ‘poor me.’

Instead, I am able to get on with my day feeling good about myself and my work and my life. Sure there are irritations, but there’s always irritations. There will always be irritations, even billionaires face irritations! Even the happiest people alive have their irritations.

When you are able to focus on how you feel and change that from the inside, outside circumstances and irritations don’t inflict the same pain, they don’t disrupt your mental and emotional well being. they don’t get to impact on you and make you feel bad.

There’s a half remembered quote in my head, by I know not whom, that says something about meeting both good and bad circumstances the same because its only our judgement that makes something good or bad.

Its why I always say there’s good in everything. Remember, most of your stress comes from the way you respond, not the way life is.

Greet everything that happens as an opportunity for growth and with curiosity for how it will work out in the end.

Is it easy? No, it can suck, especially when you’re in the middle of it before you realise you’re judging everything halfway to Sunday and it’s all bad.

But, when you step back, when you pull yourself out of the spiral of worry and stress and look for the good? Its always there.

I only wanted to stay in this house for two years maximum. But last time I said that, I ended up living in my old place for 14 years. So there’s the first positive, I won’t get stuck in a place that doesn’t meet all my needs just because its convenient.

There will be more, especially now that I’m actively using my RWID manta all day and getting on with what’s in front of me right now.

Life never gets to be all candy canes, rainbows and unicorns, but it can be satisfying. In the way that only overcoming great obstacles is satisfying. That wonderful feeling of achievement when you’ve broken through the crap to the other side.

Stop worrying about what can go wrong, and get excited about what can go right.

Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Because it’s there, you just might have to open your mind wider to find it.

There are two ways to be happy: change the situation, or change your mindset towards it. Both are in your control, both need you to change how you think. Anything else isn’t. yours to control, especially not other people.

To go back to the brilliant insight at the top of the page; always make sure your happiness comes from inside of you.


Cynthia xx

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