What Are You Waiting For?By Dr. Margaret Paul
February 03, 2020
Are you waiting to achieve some goal in order to fully live your life, or are there fears in the way of being happy now?
"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today."
--Dale Carnegie, 1888-1955
Right now, take a breath and go inside. Is there something you are waiting for, to be happy? Are you putting off living until something magical happens? How often have you heard yourself say, “I’ll play, or create, or rest, or spend time with loved ones or take that vacation - when everything gets done.” Does everything ever get done?
Early one morning, as I was driving to the airport on my way to New York for an Intensive, a spectacular sunrise took my breath away. “How fortunate am I,” I thought, “that I get to drive to the airport basking in this incredible display of God’s art. How fortunate am I that I get to breathe in the fresh crisp air of fall.” It was one of those moments that filled my heart and soul with peace and joy and gratitude.
But sometimes I miss those moments…
Sometimes I miss out on those precious moments of pure joy because I’m so busy getting things done, or letting my mind wander, rather than staying present in the moment. The thing about these moments is – I can’t get them back. I’m either here and present for them, as I was that morning, or I’m not. There is no going back to capture a precious moment.
Are you putting off living – putting off being in the present moment - waiting to achieve some future goal? Think back to the past – did you put off living in the now for goals that you’ve since accomplished, only to focus on new goals before you decide you can really live? Have you told yourself that once you reach these goals, then you can relax and be happy? How many moments of joy have you missed out on, waiting for the next goal to be accomplished?
Happiness Is An Inside Job
If you have children or spend time with children, you know that they don’t wait for anything. They live in the now, rather than waiting for something else to happen before they enjoy the moment. They intuitively know that happiness is an inside job and is about being present in this moment with all there is. Of course, somewhere along the way – at home, at school, at religious institutions – they learn that happiness is something you seek in the future, or that it is a result of what you get or accomplish, rather than being open to it now. This is so very sad. As Dale Carnegie said in the quote at the beginning of this article, “"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.” Is it really human nature, or is it something we learn? I believe it is a learned behavior.
What Is In The Way Of Your Happiness?
Think for a moment about what would stop you from choosing happiness right now. What comes up for you when you think about this? Are any of these fears in the way?
If I’m happy then I will lose my motivation and not get things done.
If I’m happy my partner will expect more from me and I won’t be able to say no.
If I’m happy, then everyone will think I’m fine and no one will give me the attention, love and approval that I need from them.
If I’m happy, then others will pull on me with their complaints, expecting me to take care of them because I’m happy and they are miserable.
- If I’m happy, I will feel guilty when others are not happy.
If you are operating from any of these fears, you might want to decide how to take loving care of yourself - if any of your fears should actually occur - so that you can clear out your blocks to being happy, even in the face of these fears. When you know how to take loving care of yourself, then you can meet these challenges with love for yourself and others, rather than trying to feel safe by avoiding happiness.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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If you are not letting yourself do what brings you joy, attend to what you fear that is stopping you. Do you fear rejection or failure? Do you fear doing well and then losing your free time, or then not living up to expectations? Not following your joy and passion indicates that your loving adult is not creating a safe space for your essence to express itself. Today notice the beliefs that are limiting you.
By Dr. Margaret Paul