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Defending Your Misery at the Expense of Happiness. REALLY?

By January 21st, 20164 Comments

[dropcap]Are[/dropcap] you serious? Defending our misery at the expense of happiness. Who would do that? Why would someone do that?

Yes, I am serious, and I think you will see why and how as we continue this discussion. Let’s first look at what is meant by misery. An official definition of misery according to is: a state of great unhappiness and emotional distress.

We often associate misery with physical pain and long-term discomfort, however within the context of this topic, misery is in reference to unhappiness and emotional distress.

When asked what one wants most out of life, a common response is, “I just want to be happy.” Does this mean that most folks are unhappy, or that they believe they could be happier? And if they are unhappy, and they know it, why don’t they do something to change? What is preventing happiness in the first place?

And misery, why would I defend my misery? Why would I fight to be unhappy? Why would I deny myself the experience of life that most of us desire? Why indeed?

Misery results from the sameness, the mundane of everyday life, the feeling of being stuck with things as they are with no way out. It is believing we have to do certain things out of obligation or responsibility and therefore put the experiences we truly desire on the so-called backburner.

Yes, there are things to which we have made a commitment, like supporting our family, showing up at work each day, paying our bills, etc., but this is not the limit of who we are and what we have available to us.

The primary cause of misery is Self-denial. An unwillingness to allow for the full expression of who we truly are that is persistent in its desire to be expressed. We will experience times of fear, grief, loss and sadness, all of which are integral to the human experience.

However, misery results from claiming these experiences and emotions as our life, instead of recognizing that life is the experiencing and expressing of our Self within the context of the events of life.

Life is limitless in what it offers as our expression and experience. We are always at a point of choice where we choose how we will experience life, even when it comes to choosing happiness over misery, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau summed it up beautifully in his quote:

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and
go to the grave with the song still in them.”

Your song is the expression of your true Self in whatever form you choose to express. What is the song within you that is waiting to be sung? What are you inspired to do or be that you know would bring you an experience of joy and happiness, but for “your” reasons you have not given yourself permission to choose?

Once you answer this question, ask why you have not given yourself permission? The answers to this question will help identify the ways you are defending your misery at the expense of your happiness.

Some examples might be:

I can’t because……Fill in the blank. How you complete this statement is a defense of your misery.

Remaining where I am is easier or more convenient than what I “believe” is necessary to move on. And yet, all you need to do is choose to allow the experience of what you desire to experience.

Blaming other people or events for where you are in life instead of taking responsibility. Your life is your life. It is not up to anyone or anything to create the happiness you desire…it is your choice to experience happiness. 

Worry and concern… Allowing fear over what might happen, or has happened, to take precedence over what you might create and experience that is in alignment with your Self-expression.

“My life has been full of many terrible misfortunes,
most of which never happened.” Michel de Montaigne”

Not worthy…Living from the belief that this is the life I have been given and there is nothing I can do to change it. Others much more deserving than me have the opportunity for happiness, but not me.

Fear of what might be lost in the process instead of excited and joyful about what will be gained. You never lose anything that is in alignment with, and beneficial to, who you are and are in the process of being and experiencing.

Fear of losing the happiness once you gain it.  Every time I gain something it is taken away from me. Understand that happiness is a state of being in this world and is not dependent on anything, any person, or any event.

Uncertainty, fear of the unknown. You become comfortable with the known and are therefore more willing to remain in your misery even though what you don’t know holds the potential for greater experiences.

Now that you have examples of how you defend your misery, here are a few thoughts on how to move out of misery into a life of happiness and full expression;

Simply choose to. It is always your choice as to how you will express your Self and experience life.

Trust your inspiration/intuition and your Self knowing you will never be led astray.

Know your song and the “why” for having the desire to sing it. 

Know you have nothing to lose by doing so other than the misery within which you have chosen to live.

Know that Life, the Universe, doesn’t want you to live in misery. However, it is compelled to support you in whatever choice you make. Choose consciously and wisely.

Until next time,

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  • It has been a while since I saw you in Virginia, and you continue to send me this newsletter. just wanted you to know how inspiring they are. The story about your son is priceless! Thank you. I will pass this on to a friend.
    Blessings for a Happy New Year. Rev Joan Marie

    • Jim Phillips says:

      Rev. Joan Marie, thank you for your kind words and willingness to pass this on to others. I trust you are well and continue benefiting others through the work that you do. Blessings…

  • Kim says:

    This is right on. It’s amazing how people can be in miserable circumstances and yet still be happy or the reverse. It’s a choice for most and they choose misery as part of their identity.

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