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The Source of All Misery (How to Achieve Ultimate Happiness)

Throughout life, we have moments of misery or unhappiness. Sometimes we experience long periods of deep depression. None of this is necessary. Happiness is your true nature - your natural state. In this article, you’ll discover the source of all misery and how to achieve ultimate happiness.

Watch the video below or scroll down if you prefer to read. 

Frustrated Desires: The Source of All Misery

What ultimately makes us feel unhappiness or sorrow are frustrated desires. There are two types of desires we have:

  • Positive Desires: Wanting to have, be, or do something

  • Negative Desires: Not wanting to have, be, or do something

Whenever you hold onto either of these desires, it creates misery and suffering. If you can let go of the desire, the unhappiness it creates will go away and you will experience your natural state of peace and joy.

The Problem with Positive Desires

When you are wanting something, it creates a feeling of lack. And lack doesn’t feel good. The feeling of lack or limitation is agonizing. When you focus on what you don’t have, you are unhappy.

You might think having, being, or doing that thing you want will make you happy, but happiness comes from within. Even if you do get that thing and feel happy, the feeling of happiness is still coming from within.

So why not skip the intermediary and just feel happy now? When you make your happiness dependent on people, things, or circumstances, you are giving your power away. What you are really saying is that your happiness is dependent on the external world. There is no freedom in that.

When you make your happiness dependent on external circumstances, you are giving your power away. What you can do instead is let go of the desire. When you do this, you will feel more and more happiness because you are eliminating the agonizing feeling of lack.

Now you might be saying, “If I let go of wanting something, how will I get it?” And in reply I would say, wanting is not the same as having. Wanting can often get in the way of having.

Why Wanting Won’t Lead to Having

Have you ever been on a date with someone and they acted so needy and desperate that you got turned off and didn’t want to date them anymore? Or have you ever talked with a pushy salesperson who was so eager to make the sale that you didn’t buy, even though you liked the product or service they were offering?

Compare those two scenarios with the opposite. Imagine going on date with someone and they are completely confident and able to express themselves honestly. Or think about talking with a salesperson with genuine interest in you and your needs rather than just wanting to get the sale.

Which of these two scenarios do you think is more likely to lead to success? If you guessed the latter, you’re right! When you are coming from a place of “I am enough” or “I have enough” you don’t engage in self-defeating behaviors like neediness or pushing for the sale. And you don’t experience the agony and misery that the sense of lack brings.

The Problem with Negative Desires

There is another type of desire that also creates suffering, and that is the desire to not have, be or do something. Another word for negative desires is aversion. Aversions also create misery and suffering, but for different reasons than positive desires.

When you have the desire to not experience something, you are still picturing it in your mind. When you picture something you don’t want in your mind, you are already experiencing it, at least internally. You experience the misery and suffering you think that thing will bring.

And picturing what you don’t want in your mind can manifest it into your experience. The reason why is that we tend to get what we focus on. One of the most common causes of car accidents is something called target fixation.

Loosely defined, target fixation is a behavior in which a person becomes so focused on a singular object that they tend to ride (or drive) straight into it. This occurs more commonly in motorcyclists because the steering on a motorcycle is much more attuned to the minuscule, sometimes-subconscious, movements of the rider.

You could also say that the steering of your life is more attuned to the minuscule, sometimes-subconscious, movements of you, the rider. So when you focus on something you want to avoid, you will often subconsciously steer yourself towards it.

Letting Go of Desires: The Secret to Happiness and Havingness

There is a way to avoid the pain and suffering that both positive and negative desires create: letting them go. When you let go of desire, you also let go of the suffering they create. And you will avoid the subconscious behaviors that lead to undesirable outcomes.

Letting go of desires is easy. It make take a while to completely let go of any given desire or aversion, but with persistent effort, you can be free of desire and the suffering it creates.

In my coaching program, I teach several different ways of letting go. But to get you started, I’m going to share with you one of the simplest and most powerful ways to release desires: welcoming.

To welcome something is to allow it to be here - opening to it fully. When you do this, there is an opening inside and the desire often releases all on it’s own. Welcoming is the opposite of what we normally do with desires. What we normally do is hold onto the desire - clutching or gripping it as tightly as we can.

And gripping onto a desire like that is what creates suffering. This clutching also is the cause of self-defeating behaviors that lead to undesirable outcomes. If you do the opposite, then the desire and the suffering it creates will release.

The 3 Elements of Desire and Misery

With any desire we have, there are three aspects to it:

  • The desire itself

  • The wanting to do something with or about it

  • The sense that it’s personal, that it’s about you or who you are

If you welcome or acknowledge these three elements of a desire, it will release all on its own. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let’s try it now so you can see how it works.

Exercise: Letting Go of Positive Desires

Allow yourself to focus inside and think of something you’ve been wanting. Something you want to have, be, or do. And just take the first thought or feeling that comes to mind.

And could you welcome whatever pictures, sensations, or sounds that brings up in awareness? Could you allow that to be here, just for now?

Next, could you welcome any wanting to do something with or about that? Notice any wanting to fix it, any wanting to change it, or any wanting to figure it out. Just notice or allow any and all wanting associated with that desire.

And then could you welcome any sense of “me” or “mine”? Could you welcome any sense that it’s personal, about you or who you are?

And then, just for you, could you let go of that desire, as best you can?

If you’re struggling with this, remember, wanting is not the same as having. When you let go of wanting, you make room for having. So do the best you can to let go of this desire.

Repeat the above steps as many times as necessary to let go of the desire. When you do this, do a quick check inside and notice how you feel. Do you feel more happy or more at ease? If not, keep working with this process. If you spent only a few days letting go of desires it will make a huge difference in your overall experience of life.

Exercise: Letting Go of Negative Desires

Now let’s do an exercise to help you let go of aversions or fears. These negative desires also create misery and suffering in your life. The more you can let them go, the happier you will feel. 

Watch the video below or scroll down for the text version of the exercise. 

Allow yourself to focus inside and think of something you’ve been wanting to avoid. Something you don’t want to have, be, or do. And just take the first thought or feeling that comes to mind.

And could you welcome whatever pictures, sensations, or sounds that brings up in awareness? Could you allow that to be here, just for now?

Next, could you welcome any wanting to do something with our about that? Notice any wanting to fix it, any wanting to change it, or any wanting to figure it out. Just notice or allow any and all wanting associated with that desire.

And then could you welcome any sense of “me” or “mine”? Could you welcome any sense that it’s personal, about you or who you are?

And then, just for you, could you let go of that aversion or fear, as best you can?

If you’re struggling with this, remember that focusing on something you don’t can cause you to unconsciously steer yourself in that direction. The more you can let go of wanting to avoid something, the less likely it is to enter your experience. And you won’t experience the suffering that picturing that undesirable outcome in your mind creates.

Repeat the above steps as many times as necessary to let go of that fear or aversion. When you do this, do a quick check inside and notice how you feel. Do you feel more happy or more at ease? If not, keep working with this process. If you spent only a few days letting go of negative desires it will make a huge difference in your overall experience of life.

The Truth About Love (It’s Not What You Think)

Love is not what you think. What we often think of as love is romantic love.

But romantic love is not true love. It is desire.

The Spanish language recognizes this. In many ways Spanish is more honest than English.

The Spanish word for “I love you” is “te quiero”, which literally translates to “I want you.”

Another word for romantic love could be “egoic love”. It is conditional love.

When we love another in this way, what we’re really saying is, “I love you, but only if you meet my expectations.”

This form of love is limited. And because the ego is involved, the loss of this love creates suffering and emotional pain - grief, anger, guilt, etc.

There’s a common belief that love is outside of us. We believe that love is in the body of others and that we have to get it from their body into our body.

But this isn’t true. All of us have an infinite well of love within us in every moment.

My Experience of True Unconditional Love

When I first realized this unconditional love within myself, the experience was exquisite. It was like an orgasm of the soul.

I had experienced human love several times before. This kind of love can make you sick. When I first fell in love, I couldn’t eat or sleep. I couldn’t think straight, either.

But the experience of unconditional love isn’t like that. There’s a healing quality to it. It brings clarity and peace.

In the moment I first tasted this infinite love, I felt complete redemption. Like all my past wrongdoings had been forgiven or washed away.

And I felt a level of happiness that I didn’t even know was possible.

Anyone Can Experience Unconditional Love

You can experience this infinite love yourself. The process is very simple: let go of all non-love feelings.

These feelings are covering up the true love within us, like clouds covering the sun. As this fog is lifted, the infinite love within us shines brighter and brighter.

The main objective of my coaching program is to let go of non-love feelings. These feelings prevent us from recognizing true unconditional love that is always available to us.

Holding onto non-love feelings also harms our health, finances, and relationships. And they create tremendous suffering.

So you have a big incentive to release non-love feelings.

How to Let Go Of Non-Love Feelings

There are only two steps involved in letting go: welcoming, and deciding to let go of the emotion. This is the opposite of what we usually do with uncomfortable feelings.

We normally try to escape them or get rid of them in some way. This doesn’t work, it only strengthens the power of the emotion. As Carl Jung famously said, “that which you resist, persists”.

Instead of resisting the emotion, welcome or allow it instead. That’s step one. Often allowing is enough for the emotion to release all on its own. If there is still some emotional charge left, the next step is to decide to let it go.

This too goes against our normal behavior. Often we hold onto emotions as if they are meaningful or important.

Feelings Only Lie…

For example, we have a common belief that fear keeps you safe. But that’s simply not true. Most of the time fear works against you.

The paralyzing effect of fear often prevents people from taking the action necessary to keep themselves and loved ones safe. You’ll also hear stories about how people overcame fear to escape danger or achieve great things.

This brings us to the next point about letting go: feelings only lie, they tell you what you will get from letting them go what you are already getting from holding on.

If you can remember that feelings only lie, it will be easier for you to let them go. When you let go, you will feel lighter, happier, and more comfortable. At the very least the suffering that non-love feelings create will be lessened. If you keep letting go, it will disappear or dissolve completely.

Exercise: Letting Go of Non-Love Feelings

Allow yourself to think of some situation in your life where you’ve been feeling non-love feelings. It could be a situation at home, at work, or a traumatic event from your past. 

And just take the first thought or feeling that comes to mind.

And could you welcome whatever pictures, sensations, or sounds that brings up in awareness? Could you allow that to be here, just for now? Could you allow yourself to experience fully, the emotion this situation brings up?

And then, could you let that feeling go? Letting go is just a decision you can make in any moment. If you can say “yes” inside or simply open inside, the feeling will release.

Repeat this process as many times as necessary to release the feeling. It may seem difficult at first or like it’s not working, but it is. Letting go is like a muscle, the more you work it, the stronger it gets.

If you release non-love feelings as they arise, you will soon find yourself releasing these feelings naturally and effortlessly.

And as you let go of non-love feelings, you will feel love more and more. And with that love will comes happiness. The more loving you are, the happier you are.

But don't take my word for it. Try it letting go and see for yourself.