First I had to find out what happiness was, because the happiness I grew up with never brought lasting happiness. The Christmas type of happiness, you are lied to about Santa Claus being real and you only care about your gifts until they become old and boring. I realized I had been conditioned to be sad, scared, angry when there was no need to feel that way. I asked myself how I could uncondition myself from these mind states? Medication didn’t help, self help books and tapes didn’t help, prayers didn’t help, leaving abusive relationships didn’t help. I was reacting to old memories provoked by situations that didn’t warrant these emotions. That is, even though I had been abused as a kid, something out of my control, I am now an adult. I can say no to those who want to cause harm to me and others around me. I have to take responsibility for my emotional states of mind. How I react to something is no one’s responsibility even if they are psychopathic monsters. I will actually beat the holy shit out of you if you try and harm me or my friends and family. How do I say no to negativity and stop falling into negativity when I say no? I want to hit you on the head with a baseball bat, kind of angry when all you said was something silly and mean or I was triggered from old conditioning…hahaha…..I kept reacting as if I was an abused kid over stuff that was silly and had to do with the other persons negative conditioning and wouldn’t effect me. I was causing my suffering from my reactions to what I liked and didn’t like. I wanted to leave these conditioned reactions behind. I want to be able to pick up that bat and use it correctly or just walk away and leave that person’s crap alone so they can deal with it without carrying what happened me for days, weeks, months, or years. Overwhelming emotions, intrusive memories, uncontrollable triggers are a pain in the ass and no use at all in battle or daily life.
In meditation I got to see these gross emotions turn into light and bliss and then disappear. My insight was, these emotions and feelings don’t last and are made up of beautiful light. Just sit and watch them come and go and I’ve tried to take that experience off the meditation cushion for the last 20 years. It’s kind of like gardening, you just keep at it and don’t give up.
I like define happiness as contentment, it is subtle and not dependent on other people or things I may or may not have or control. I am content with who I am and what I have now. I don’t get lonely, but I still get sad, many times I still cry, I get my feelings hurt. But that’s okay, I no longer lose my temper or carry grudges that feel like hot iron in my heart. Such a relief!