Letting Go of the Lie

Posted Thursday, April 23, 2015

I will be happy  when fill in the blank. 

Everyone has their answer. Some of us are run by it more than others but we all have a version of this in our heads. 

I will be happy when I have enough money in the bank to pay for college.
I will be happy when I live in a warm climate.
I will be happy when I am closer to my family.
I will be happy when I have a life partner.
I will be happy when I no longer have my current life partner.
I will be happy when I feel safe.
I will be happy when _______________.

What's your _____________? I can tell you that when I went to a talk last summer and the speaker asked this question, my initial response was--hmmm, I'm good. I'm happy now. I know (with my head) that there is nothing that can make me happy except myself. He pushed us a little more. If the answer to this question has been driving your life since you were a kid--what would it be? What have I been putting my emotional energy towards? What in your life have you been using to make yourself happy--at least historically--if not in this moment?

I then stepped back and looked at my life. Since I was a teenager I had made finding and keeping a woman in my life my highest priority. Not just finding one and keeping one, but feeling "in love" all the time with a woman had been my highest emotional priority.

This thought hit me like a ton of bricks. I found my (fill in the blank).

I will be happy when a woman finally loves me. Really loves me.

How insidious. This lie. It's actually a two part lie. 

1. Inside it is a belief that another person could actually make me happy.
2. It also assumes that I can't be happy now. 

Both lies. 

Truth is I have everything that I need in this moment to be happy. The question is: am I choosing to be happy? 

Like I said, I know my happiness isn't tied to the future. With my head. But when I heard this last summer, I noticed that I was still being run by this lie in some ways. 

I decided to write down some truths. Remind myself of them. Practice makes people. Practice believing them to be true. Ask myself, if I believe that I have everything I need to be happy in this moment, how would I approach this moment differently? This is especially helpful in situations directly related to the lie. Like with women. Like when I get in a fight with my girlfriend and I find myself triggered. Right now, I try to take a step back and say to myself, she isn't responsible for my happiness. As the speaker of the talk that I went to last summer says: "You have everything you need to be extraordinarily happy right now, in this moment."

What a relief. My girlfriend isn't responsible for my happiness. I am. This has an amazing impact on the conversation and on our relationship. The discussion almost always shifts. She no longer has to bear the burden of my happiness and I no longer am trying to place it on her. I am not responsible for her--but I am responsible for me. 

The same is true for your lie. It is making an impact on the things that are most important to you. You may want to try some of these ideas with your fill in the blank. 

1. Write down some truths including the truth that you have everything you need right now to be happy. 
2. Practice reminding yourself in the moments when you are acting out of the lie. 
3. Be gentle with yourself. You have believed the lie for decades. 

4. If you want more resources from Shirzad Chamine, go to positiveintelligence.com and take the Saboteur test to find out more about your internal voices.

Check out our last 6 eNewsletters:

November 4, 2016--Crossing the Continental Divide (Both Literally and Metaphorically)

May 13, 2016-Are You Embracing Your Goo?

April 6, 2016--Micromanagement is Good Management

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