Think of your unhappiest moments. Think about your discomfort, your anxiety and even anger. When I think on those moments I realize that they have one thing in common; the person or thing that was making me unhappy was someone/something I had no control over. I wanted to will a different outcome than what I got and it made me miserable. I felt that somehow wanting meant I should get. Of course here is where my Mother's voice comes in saying "You can't have everything that you want," but even at 31 the message is still sinking in.
Now think on your happiest moments. Think about the elation, the joy, the surprise you felt. When I think on those moments I realize they have one thing in common; the person or thing causing me happiness was completely outside my control. When I think on those moments I realize that I had very little to do with it. I didn't demand it, I didn't sulk about it, I wasn't calculating my every move to make sure I got it, I just was being and just by being I walked into it. It's really a phenom actually. Exert control: unhappy. Relinquish control: happy.
Ironically happiness never comes to miserable people. People who are hard to satisfy, set too high expectations, that even they would have difficulty meeting; these are the people that happiness always eludes, because happiness is drawn to its own likeness. I know for me when I was just minding my own business, giving others the space they need to be who they are, being kind just because, I was in essence being happy and making an environment where happiness felt welcomed. It doesn't mean I was settling, it doesn't mean I don't have standards, it just means I'm content with me, and therefore able to be content with everything and everyone around me without placing demand. When I feel myself creeping over to the darkside, I just remind myself that I like who I am, with or without that person or thing and I start to feel better.
"...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." Philippians 4: 11-12