Do you often become aware of the deep frown between your eyes when you think about your child’s future? What image comes to mind when I ask you about job security, safety, and prosperity? In most cases, I get a rather dim response to these questions. We all seek security, especially for our children. A job provides income. Underneath the desire for a secure life lies the main motivation and driving force behind our actions, choices, and behaviour.
Have you ever noticed how internal anxiety builds up while watching a movie where it seems as if the “bad guys”, tragedy and destruction is dominating the storyline? Although this cause immense discomfort we continue to watch because we need to see the end. We can only release the anxiety once we know how it turned out and saw that good came out of all the perceived negativity.
We love happy endings. We love happy. The world we live in is full of contrast. Change is the new form of stability and this leads to internal anxiety. It seems as if the storyline is out of control. We want to look away but we can’t.
It has been found that cortisol levels settle during the formative years (0-3 years of age) of childhood. Cortisol is also referred to as the “happy hormone”. This implies that childhood environment affects our ability to access feel-good emotions and naturally incorporate it in our daily lives. Many confirm that they grew up in environments where it was not okay to be too happy or prosperous. There was a far greater emphasis on lack, suffering and the negative without accessing and including moments of happiness. If this is the main theme coming from our direct environment then we gravitate towards it as if normal. Early child development which encompasses physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and motor development takes place between 0-8 years of age. The presence of and connection to happy, positive and enthusiastic parents (which does not imply the absence of struggle or difficulties) benefit a child and their ability to enjoy life in countless ways.
Is this not ironic that we experience our most stressful and busy phase in life when our children are going through their formative years? We are still building careers and sometimes find it hard to be able to pay for all the needs and wants: the house, the car, the clothes. We find ourselves three quarters into the movie where everything feels out of control and sometimes hopeless. With no happy ending in mind, we rush home and run through chores, homework, cooking, cleaning, and facebook while asking the children to keep each other or themselves busy. During all these activities we don’t pay any attention to the intrinsic need to feel joyous or happy. Whatever we seek, we find. Our eyes are designed to lead us to where we are aiming to go. Our lack of focus on possibilities hinders us to see the presence of joy in each moment.
Children tune into their parent’s broadcasting station (right up until their early twenties) and incorporate the message into their own view of life. All children are intelligently wired with the need to see their parents happy, thriving and living their dreams. I think subconsciously they know that they need it in their storyline as part of their own happy ending. I used to be an Afrikaans teacher and I often had conversations with my matric classes about life. So many wished wishes for their parents… “I wish my mom could do her dream job. I wish my dad was not so stressed. I wish my parents could laugh together instead of the constant pointless arguments. I wish my parents held hands in front of us instead of the silent wars. I wish they said the food was delicious instead of pointing out that we don’t have enough.”
It is not selfish to be happy, joyous or prosperous. Prosperity in this context referring to expansion. Nature and even the human body proclaims expansion. Everything grows from the moment of existence until the last moment. Our capacities, bodies, and potential expand each day. We are created to only access God-given resources like our true inner wisdom, clarity, guidance, and love, from a positive feel-good emotional state. These solutions will be out of reach while entertaining feelings of despair, hatred, hopelessness, and negativity. We make bad decisions when we are in a bad mood. Taking action while being in a bad mood will even make things worse. Your children will inherit your storyline of doom and this will become the emotional state from which they will start to participate in life. People will sometimes tell me that I should not focus so much on my own happiness and well-being. I am not triggered by this anymore. Without realizing, those that condemn my selfishness often have something else for me in mind which will benefit them and is just another form of it.
I am astonished at how many things make me happy and how easy it is to experience it. I seek out the sunny spots in my house to do my chores. I remove my shoes and feel the fertile soil between my toes while I am removing the weeds from my garden. I look into the face of the person in front of me and focus on our magical connection. I drink cappuccino’s on my own in beautiful coffee shops. I laugh at my own jokes. I seek to create a buzz with my children and their friends. I dance like a crazy woman while everybody is watching. I create many of these moments and when the feel-good emotions rush through my body, then I tap into my dreams. I create. I support. I offer to the world. Only from this stance can I offer something that builds up, inspires, invites, entice and brings lasting change. The opposite is true when I feel that I cannot deal with another curveball that came my way. In these moments, I give myself grace. I talk a bit less. I take a nap. I let go of what this moment should be. I don’t take the moment to serious while I allow it. I focus on something else and let the moment pass. It’s part of a story unfolding. I can deal with the anxiety that creeps through my veins as I experience the tense scene in front of me. I don’t look away. I follow the story while my eyes are seeking for evidence of goodness, provision, and love in it. I don’t mind to sit through a few bad scenes. I lived enough evidence to know that it will end well. I often meditate by listening to sounds around me and interrupt those storylines in my head that embellish and overfocus on all that is disappointing and wrong.
Seek and create your own happy moments. You are a blessed deserver of magnificent things. Stay high on life. Cultivate a fun-loving atmosphere in your house, at work, and in your world. Allow and create upliftment, new ideas, clarity, and enthusiasm, Look for the best-feeling thoughts in each moment. The positive momentum will carry you through the difficult scenes and you will co-direct happy endings. Relax. Breathe. Be patient. You only have this moment to experience the fullness of life in its physical form. Choose love instead of hate, clarity instead of confusion and confidence instead of insecurity. Enjoy. Life.