THE PATH TO HAPPINESS
by Shenaaz Moos
How do know when you are happy? Is happiness a destination? Can you be happy alone? The answers are easy, complex and confusing all at once. Happiness is unique and specific to each person and cannot be compared and defined. You do not arrive at happiness but choose it daily in a moment to moment basis. Happiness is also not dependant on any other people but is available to everyone whether you are in a relationship or not. Working on yourself, your inner demons, identifying your unmet needs of your inner child is how you attain the true authentic happiness.
I want to illustrate using a case of mine, she has consented to share a story. She is a 34 year old who had been married for 4 years and has no kids.
These were her Counselling Goals :
• How to handle stress and negativity in a positive way
• How to communicate without complaining
• How to deal with childhood issues
We went into her childhood and my suspicions were confirmed, that she has suffered from Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) and we spent time dealing with that. It is a powerful way to determine how your struggles in adulthood (feelings of emptiness, no self-compassion, guilt and shame) are seeds planted in your childhood.
Not long into the therapy process her worst fears became her reality, her husband asked for some space. She was devastated but continued to work on her journey of healing, building boundaries through the assertiveness homework I gave her. She was rebuilding her life and herself piece by piece. She was learning to get to know herself and accept herself while separated from her husband, whom she thought she could not be without.
When she told me she was moving back and they were reconciling, she was happy, but then by time she had her next session, he changed his mind and that she was not devastated. She sent me an email detailing the event, this is an extraction (shared with her consent) :
“I told him I feel better now and I feel happy regardless of what else is going on in my life. He found it hard to believe that I am happy and he was extremely curious to know how that felt for me. I told him I wouldn’t feel the way I feel and be where I am right now if I didn’t go for counseling, that it has done amazing things for me that no one can take away. That I am able to make the choice to be happy about the good things in my life not that I don’t experience other things but I appreciate the good more. That I appreciate and realised that the people I have in my life are a blessing for me and I appreciate that very much.”
The path to happiness is not easy, it is not quick and does not come from other people. You should always be on a path to happiness no matter what other people around you think or feel about you. She discovered that happiness is inner peace, happiness is loving herself unconditionally and happiness is growing up her inner child. She has elected to share her story to encourage other women who are struggling to take the journey to healing and loving themselves.