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Wayward Side Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: The pursuit of happiness...
OktoberMest
♀ Member
Member # 34173
Default  Posted: 11:19 AM, March 13th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/theres-more-to-life-than-being-happy/266805/

Apparently, it is the very persuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.

I heard about this research on the radio the other day and a PM I got earlier reminded me of the research.

I certainly used to focus very heavily of "wanting to be happy". Why couldn't I just be happy?

Well looking back it pretty apparent. I was never going to be happy while I carried such burdens affecting my self-respect and limiting my self-acceptance. I had to accept that I was limiting my own happiness, rather than project all my issues onto my relationship - both at work and in my personal life.

I guess this is an extension of something I remember Uncertainone saying - let go of the outcome.

I really didn't get what that meant for a long time. But once I started to think about the problem at hand, rather than focussing on what might happen once I done this, or said that....all the possible raminfications of the problems, life became for straightfoward. More managable. And with that I became much less cluttered mentally. Choices more obvious and decisions became easier to make and incurred less anguish and heartache. I stop wondering about what if I'd done or said this, and just accept my actions or words and the road down which I was travelling because of those.

My focus moved from the periphery and the distance to the here and now, my choices, my decision and then afterwards, the single path which I am following as a consequence.

With this came peace and subsequently, happiness is on the horizon.

I agree, it's not so much a case of "seek and ye shall find", but more a case of "accept and happiness will come to you".


Me: FWW (35) Growing up at last.
LonelyHusband: BH (41)
Dday 1: 29/Oct/11; Dday 2:15/Nov/11; last TT 15/Mar/12
In R...working my arse off.
When you're struggling with commitment to your marriage, just imagine what it's like to be a penguin.

Posts: 558 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: UK
uncertainone
♀ Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 11:39 AM, March 13th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've never understood the whole "happiness" focus. It seems like some people almost treat it like a seperate person in their lives or marriage. One's spouse's "happiness" is catered to like an invalid relative. I'm surprised places aren't set at the dinner table for "it".


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
OktoberMest
♀ Member
Member # 34173
Default  Posted: 11:51 AM, March 13th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm surprised places aren't set at the dinner table for "it".

Ha ha ha

I basically had it like some sort of religion style thing...I believe I can be happy...

There are so many books written about this subject - how to get happy in 10 easy steps, blah blah blah.

We often comment how the happiest people have the least in life, and I can appreciate why.

My mum was talking to me yesterday as my grandmonther died last week.
She was saying out loud, what if grannie had wanted this, and if I do this, what happens with that and I mustn't forget this and oh god, if that happens then this might happen....she went on by herself for at 15 minutes.

When she stopped I realised I felt really sad for her, not least because of her loss; but mostly because she's spending all this energy chasing shadows. I asked her "can you do anything about worry A?" She said well no, but ....... So I said "so why are you worrying about that, it quite likely will never happen. On the balance of probability the outcome will be totally different. When you reach the outcome, why don't you see what it is and if you even need to worry about it?"

She loked at me like I was a alien for a minute, and then shrugged. No answer because it makes perfect sense.

I overanalysed every conversation I ever had. I realised the greatest source of frustration between my mother and I and the conversations we had was that she did the same to what I said.
The outcome of that was this: I said what I meant in plain english. She heard what I said, and then thought about it so much she had some completely random allocation of meaning attached to my actual sentence.
When I'd remind her of what I said, she'd say always "well yes you did say that, but I though you meant xyz." No mum, I meant exactly what I said.

So much wasted effort. So much anguish. So much angst. So little happiness.


Me: FWW (35) Growing up at last.
LonelyHusband: BH (41)
Dday 1: 29/Oct/11; Dday 2:15/Nov/11; last TT 15/Mar/12
In R...working my arse off.
When you're struggling with commitment to your marriage, just imagine what it's like to be a penguin.

Posts: 558 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: UK
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 11:59 AM, March 13th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

let go of the outcome

This one little phrase has been critical to my healing.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5060 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
ophelia24
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Member # 38438
Default  Posted: 3:53 PM, March 13th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I too have always been scathing of this relentless pursuit of happiness, but it is supported heavily by the western notion of the individual reigning supreme (happiness at any cost) and of course is enshrined in the American Declaration.

I once read somewhere that if you are in a constant state of happiness then you are insensitive to the world (paraphrasing). And I agree. To live in a hap-hap-happy internal world, is to totally ignore pain (yours and others) and is not a breeding ground for growth. Which usually stems from feeling the fullness of our pain, which in turn allows us to really SEE others.

I am content with those inexplicable moments of joy, which can alight in my heart seemingly from out of nowhere, and can come as I snuggle my 10 year watching our antiques show, knowing I dont have to rush off anywhere, or the way a golden light shines on the trees in my front yard at a certain time of day, or when I am visited by a native bird here (piwakawaka) with its ADHD darting and cheeky behaviour flitting right up to where Im sitting. Or sitting with my H on our verandha sipping a wine and knowing we have the whole night to ourselves to talk, laugh and listen to music.

How can we ever enjoy and feel the fullness of those fleeting moments of joy when we haven't experienced the dark.

Makes them all the sweeter.

[This message edited by ophelia24 at 3:55 PM, March 13th (Wednesday)]


“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”
― James Baldwin

Posts: 283 | Registered: Feb 2013
silverhopes
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Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 6:23 PM, March 13th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But once I started to think about the problem at hand, rather than focussing on what might happen once I done this, or said that....all the possible raminfications of the problems, life became for straightfoward. More managable. And with that I became much less cluttered mentally.

Interesting...

As someone dealing with depression, it's really tempting for me to focus on how "happy" I'll be once I can get the symptoms under control. It seems like the real focus needs to be to get healthy and to do it *in the present*, remaining here and now. If the principles are sound, then what's healthy should remain the same. Wonder if that would cut down on some of the anxieties about the uncertainty of the future...

Good food for thought.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Topic Posts: 6

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