Happiness is something almost all of us strive for in our lives and it’s something many of us don’t have a lot of and for some, never have. The definition of happiness is simply the state of being happy and the definition of happy is feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. How people see being happy varies across the board and different things make them happy; money, travel, children, cars, meditation, friends, flying and the list goes on and on. Some people don’t even know what makes them happy, all they know is they are flying through life on autopilot waiting or hoping for happiness one day, whatever form that may come in and that was pretty much me until about 3 years ago.
Unfortunately my father passed away when I had just turned 13 and my mother and I didn’t have the greatest relationship I guess. I ran away from her house and of course got busted by the police and returned back home only to leave when I turned 16 and never went back (though we still do talk). I was sexually abused a couple of times when I was younger by a family member and one that was not (after my father had passed) and recently I heard some more life-changing, maddening and shocking news which I’m not even sure I should discuss at this point out of respect for the other party. I thought I was living my life as a happy person but having that feeling that the happiness part wasn’t there. Sure I was content with my relationships, my jobs and whatever else was going on with my life but that feeling of being in a state of happy didn’t exist and somehow I knew it.
There was something missing in my life and I thought it had to do with passion. I am a creative person at heart and could always take great photos so I went out, bought a $5,000 camera, shot weddings and random things and I was good at it and really liked it, but that faded. I got my wedding planning certificate, I got my massage therapy certificate, I created businesses and hosted events like crazy and while all those were fun for me and I enjoyed doing them, none of them stuck. This is a classic story for a lot of people that I know. They find things that make them happy, it passes the time, they enjoy it but they still feel like something is missing and can’t seem to put their finger on it so they keep trying in hopes that one day it will all work out and they will be happy, or they just give up and “live life”.
When the death of my father-in-law (at the time) happened and everything started changing, I started to feel true happiness. I learned about that thing people call Meditation and it took me forever to get it. The first day I tried I think I lasted a good 10 seconds before my mind started telling me I wanted lasagna but I didn’t want to go to the grocery store so maybe I’ll wait until next week. This would happen for the first bunch of days until I learned to let those thoughts go. Doesn’t sound easy and at first it’s not that easy but by the end of the month I went from 10 seconds to 10 minutes with almost no interruption from my thoughts and now I’m up to 20! Amazing things started to happen (which you will see in past and future posts of mine). I was connecting with the Universe and I was feeling amazing, really feeling whole! I started to enjoy being alone a lot more, being in nature and helping others – I started learning about life and the process and things just started falling in place. To think of those experiences now, it brings back these happy feelings like it was yesterday! This was completely unexpected but I was rolling with it because at that point something within me said “This is it! This is the feeling of happiness you have been looking for.” It was my time to finally feel what happiness for me truly was and it made everything in life so much easier and better to understand. I can deal with people differently and understand life situations and events much better now because of this life changing event. I have more compassion for people and am much less quick to judge anything or anyone and one thing I can do even better than before is to forgive. Sure I don’t forget but forgiving is SO much easier.
The abuse I received when I was younger really did a lot of damage to my marriage; the marriage failed not only because of this but it was 95% of the issue. The feelings and emotions I had tied to those experiences were stuck with me; not being able to talk about it to people was painful but I learned to just tuck it away until the last year or so of my marriage and unfortunately, the best relationship I’ve ever had, ended because of me keeping it hidden and pent up. After that, my doctor had referred me to a hospital here in Toronto that helps with abuse but the wait list to get the help is approximately 2 – 3 years! Because the waitlist was so long and temporary help wasn’t coming to me for almost another year, it was a decision that had to be made and though it was a hard one, it was the best one for both of us. It’s been almost two years since we separated and I am so much happier – I no longer have to worry about sexual gratification for someone else in return for painful memories for myself but I still love him and I can only hope that my time will soon come where I will get that help and maybe we can make it work. It’s taken a long time to be able to forgive those who hurt me in the past with regards to this but honestly, I’ve done it and though I still have those painful memories that will never go away, I can still forgive those people for what they’ve done.
As I start to make decisions (as hard as they may or may not be) for myself and my children and the feelings or emotions I attached with things that happen around me, they are all now met with happiness tied to it. It truly does make life as some would say “more bearable” but for others it simply makes it more fun and so much easier! I thank the Universe every day that I had my chance to “wake up” to a whole new life my life and find my true happiness. That which is nothing physical or materialistic but that of a feeling.
I won’t say that there haven’t been times where I’ve been in a funk and somehow gotten myself disconnected from that happiness. From March of 2017 until February of 2018, I had a funk. My job was there but it was blah, I was feeling like I was just living to live again – the pressures of being a single parent overwhelmed me and I figured I would go back to that happiness once my kids were old enough to make their own food and clean up their own messes. But then the Universe started showing up again – I’d get these feelings, smells and visuals of what I had felt like when I was so connected and here I am, starting to feel connected again. Interestingly enough, before I got this new job I was saying that I wish my old job had rooms specific for mediation which would greatly improve my life as the snow in the winter covering the Labyrinth and meeting rooms that people would walk into while trying to meditate were not conducive for a good meditation session. Well, this new job has rooms specifically designed for meditation so no more worries about people walking in and interrupting the peacefulness of it all and I can’t say I don’t have the time nor the space.
Meditation is key to finding your happiness and of course peace. Though you may wonder how exactly meditation can bring more than just a nice quiet shut eye experience, knowing from experience the amazing benefits that meditation has given to me is enough for me to be amongst the thousands of others who can vouch for it. Meditation will be a part of my life until I shed this wonderful body of mine – it keeps me connected to energy, it gives me energy and yet peace, it brings me experiences beyond my imagination and most of all, it brings be happiness. I can only hope many others will find the benefits of meditation and allow themselves to find some happiness, even if it’s just a bit.
Try it for 10 days, see if you start to notice even small changes – maybe you have anger towards something that happened years ago or yesterday, maybe you have a lot of stress or maybe you think nothing is wrong – I promise you that it only makes things better! Remember to give yourself a break! If you’re mind wanders the first 10 seconds into the meditation, just start over; focusing on your breathing or even though when you close your eyes you see nothing but black, pretended there is something in front of you and focus on that point and within the first week you should be able to quiet your mind for a few minutes without interruptions.
I’d love to hear stories of your meditation experiences and if they’ve helped you in your life.