If I told you that happiness and sadness are the same things in the deepest, final analysis you would probably declare me nuts. After all, everyone strives to be happy; we know that happiness feels better than sadness. There are studies that prove that we are healthier when we are happy and get sick when we are sad and depressed.

The world of personal development is full of people advising you, including yours truly, on how to be "happy". It seems that the path to attaining happiness starts for most of us with the desire to make happiness a permanent state of being. In addition we have learnt expectations what it is like to be happy.

Now, what if you could accept that permanent happiness is impossible, since this concept flies in the face of all scientific evidence and human wisdom on how universal laws operate? What if you could understand that it is precisely this seeming contradiction which will get you closer to what you think happiness is all about?

Let's examine the concepts upon which my premise rests: First, there is the idea that our reality is fixed and that there are absolutes by which we can measure our states of well being. This idea of course is an illusion. Reality is never fixed and there are no absolutes. They just appear to be so to your limited mind, because your cognitive awareness is limited.

Second, happiness and sadness are concepts. They hold no ultimate reality or so called truth, contrary to what we think. Happiness and sadness derive their meaning from our interpretation of these states. We have learned about the meaning of our mental and physical states from our well meaning parents and other care takers. True, these realities have been in the making over millennia but are still not absolute.

In other words and thirdly, it is your conditioning that dictates your mental and emotional map of the world. What you believe to be right or wrong, true, or false is what you have learned to believe. These beliefs too are mere road maps and not absolutes.

Allow me to explain: When you are looking on a map to determine how to get from A to B you know that the map only gives you an idea but that in your reality you will have to either walk, take the train, car or aero plane to get from A to B.

So, what I am saying here is this: Everything in your world is simply a concept, a roadmap which helps you to navigate your life. How much you see of your world and how well you are able to integrate new concepts and ideas depends on your individual level of cognitive development. Let's call this principle number four.

Now, your happiness is also a concept which you have learnt to strive for. You also learnt to avoid sadness at all cost. When you are subconsciously focusing on avoiding sadness you are drawing it to you. While you are doing this you also lack the energy to deal with the other aspects of your life which may bring you happiness. Remember, you always get what you focus on. This is the ever important principle number five.

Energy is limited, there is only so much around in this universe and it cannot be added to or taken away from, but it can change. Principle number six.

Every time you react to an event in your life and interpret it as good or bad you are concentrating energy in one area which will be missing in other areas. In other words, you are stopping the natural flow of universal forces. We also call this clogging up the meridians, which ultimately leads to mental and physical disease.

Therefore, happiness comes not from consciously striving for it but letting whatever happens be okay and trusting that things will change when the going is not so good. Happiness is akin to letting go of fixed expectations. In this state you are expending the least energy, thus encountering the least chaos, which always precipitates change.

I can tell you from personal experience that extreme sadness and extreme happiness feel the same, if you allow it. The energetic mass that pulses through our meridians when we are either extremely sad or extremely happy is often too much for our energy systems. Those of you who are familiar with chaos theory will know that entropy or chaos is necessary for a system to re-organise itself on a higher level. Typically, this is precisely what happens when we experience either extreme sadness or extreme happiness.

Both emotions further our evolutionary process. In that sense they also nurture our soul, if we allow it.

I know that these concepts may be a little hard to take on board. All I am asking you is to keep an open mind. We learn and grow by first learning new ideas and understanding them intellectually. Over time they become part of your new reality. You can of course help the process by working on clearing your stuff, as I call it; eating the right foods and supplements and regular meditation practice and ensuring that your environment supports you, all of which increases your cognitive awareness over time.

There are no one minute fixes for any challenge in life, growth is a permanent state, and sometimes we grow more than at others. These are normally our most challenging times. Regular study and self mastery practice will help you navigate your life more successfully.

Funnily enough practicing to be okay with whatever happens in your life and letting go of fixed expectations of what it means to be happy will lead you to happiness and success.

Author's Bio: 

Mercedes Oestermann van Essen is a human development coach and author specialising in trading and investment psychology and manifestation techniques.

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