I Just Want To Feel Happy

I just want to feel happy.

Is that too much to ask?

After spending most of my life searching for happiness (sometimes in some really strange ways), the “giving up” felt so good.

But I’m not talking about giving up the way you might think.

I mean giving up my belief in the illusion that all these thoughts and beliefs swirling in my mind are what define me and/or give me meaning.

Giving up that self-conscious me that kept me constricted in fear, afraid to let people in or have authentic conversations.

I mean letting go of the belief that happiness is something we attain “if” we do A + B, divide that by C, and then take 10% of that and wallah…

You’re happy!

That’s not how it works.

Each Of Us Has A Unique Path

Sure, there are some wonderful wisdom teachings that can help pave the path… each one of us has a unique path to walk.

If you know me, I’m all about “doing the inner healing work” along that path.

The shadow work + The light work.

Digging, observing, healing, letting go, calling back those parts we’ve rejected, repressed, finding your unique “waking up” path, etc.

shadow work journal - moving beyond codependency

My background and interests include transpersonal psychology, spirituality, ancient wisdom, Buddhism, and the new sciences.

From my studies, life from a spiritual or energetic perspective shows me that my goal to “acquire” happiness will fall short.

It will exhaust me (and it has).

And I’ve watched it exhaust others too.

Along my “shadow + light work” path, I’ve come to realize more and more that authentic happiness isn’t something I FINALLY get by doing this or that.

Or by getting this or that.

Rather, happiness is a state that I am already –  and always have been. (The real me)

A state of being.

A state I can consciously experience when I let go of beliefs… of illusions… of society’s programming…

Of carnal desires…

It’s the state I tap into when I take the time to just get quiet…silence the mind…meditate…remain mindful, revel in nature, etc.

spiritual shadow work journal
You see, I lived most of my life imprisoned in my mind – more specifically, in the shadow part of my ego/mind dealing with a lot of negative thoughts, beliefs, society’s programming, and trauma wounds.

Even after throwing myself into religion for a decade, I still came out feeling little more than shame and frustration because I could not “feel” God like others.  I rejoiced, praised with hands lifted, prayed till the cows came home, memorized Scripture, etc…

But I still felt empty inside…and alone.

Childhood Trauma Can Mess With The Mind, But We Are Not “Broken”

Little did I know I had spent my whole life disconnected from my emotional body due to childhood trauma.

Disconnected from most everything outside of my wounded ego-side…

Disassociated from the reality that I was living in my own little world, separated from my true self and my Creator.

The teachings from the pulpit just didn’t help me the way I needed help.

But that didn’t stop me from continuing to “do the inner healing work” or what I like to call “stripping away layers of the ego that do not serve us”.

Throw in a couple “dark nights of the soul” since then and I’ve come to realize that I’d spent a good deal of my life on autopilot living a program that was keeping me stuck in emotional hell.

Asleep spiritually.

Yeah, I had the head knowledge, but experientially, I was lacking.

I had moments of joy, seasons of feeling happier, but still… deep inside I felt dissatisfied and alone.

But now I can look back and see how those feelings (along with others) were symptoms that many tend to feel when we’re on our spiritual awakening path.

When we are on our “enlightenment” journey – which is actually just remembering and returning to the joyous, natural state of being that we already are.

Rediscovering our sacredness – not by “doing”, but by letting go, letting things fall away, fall off, dissolve, etc.

Yes, I’ve done some inner healing work, and that does take effort.

For me, the “work” is more about committing to an inner journey, day in and day out. Refusing to trek the “ways of the world” that promise happiness, but leave you feeling dissatisfied, duped, and exhausted.

My goal is not to feel happy all the time.

My goal is to remain present, in the now, connected and tuned within to my sacred state of being.

That part of me that is already at peace…and experiencing joy.

The part of me that can feel emotions, but understands that I am not solely my emotions.

Throughout my life, I have changed a lot, but there’s something that’s remained the same throughout – me as divine, conscious spirit.

I Am Divine, Conscious Spirit

It’s this real me that’s designed to shine through more and more, extending compassion and love to all. It’s this “real me” that only puts on “masks” when I want… when it helps others to understand better the nature of reality.

But not out of fear….or shame…or trying to protect the ego.

And like a tree that manifests all sorts of unique branches to reveal its glory, so does Divine Creator manifest as billions of unique, divine “sparks” to reveal its glory…

Each one radiant and oh so worthy.

So when you think about yourself today, drop beneath (or outside of) the ego and its shadow side.

Deeper than your thoughts, emotions, or belief systems.

Close your eyes and pause for some time and see if you can sense the “you” that’s always been and always will be.

The eternal spark of divinity that’s expressing itself uniquely as you…on a planet that’s hurling through space and time with billions of other sparks.

Be still…and know…

May we individually and collectively remember, and rediscover our sacredness.

 

Dominica Applegate
Written by: Dominica Applegate

Dominica Applegate is an author, writer, and transpersonal spiritual teacher. Her teachings have helped millions of people experience emotional healing, relationship repair, and spiritual awakening. Earning her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling, she worked 12 years in the mental health field before diving full-time into writing.

She runs Rediscovering Sacredness, an online portal that offers inspiration, essays, resources, and tools to help heal inner pain and experience more peace and joy.

Her books include:

Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal
Healing After a Breakup: A 50 Day Devotional & Guided Inner Work Journal
Goodbye Codependency: A 40-Day Devotional to Boost Self-Care
The Pain, It Shapes Her World {Poetry}