Scan your world. Is there any relationship or project or area of your life in which you have been imposing impossible conditions on your happiness?
Is there any place in your life where you are telling yourself the story that you would be totally happy if only everyone else did exactly what you wanted them to do and everything turned out exactly the way you would do it?
Are these conditions even possible? Is it an impossible demand to expect the whole entire world and everyone in it to comply with your desires? Do you even comply with your own demand list for yourself 100% of the time?
Are you conditioning your happiness on the impossible?
Now: what would it take for you to decide to be happy in that situation regardless of the conditions? Does thinking about this spark any level of fear? Who would you be if you dropped the conditions and decided to be happy, regardless? How would your conversations change? Your relationships?
Can you envision happiness without conditions? What would that be like, to live? Can you feel it, even for a minute?
Alternatively, have you already figured out how to be happy without conditions, even occasionally or intermittently? If so, describe a situation in which you are happy and satisfied even though someone is not doing what you want them to do, or the circumstances aren’t exactly what you’d pick. How’d you get there?
The last time I blogged about my conditions for happiness, I was in a place where I was generally happy and satisfied with my situation. For the most part, I am still there. There is little in my life that causes me to lose my joy for very long. When something starts to make me lose my peace, I have learned to quickly redirect my thoughts or remove myself from the situation long enough to regain my composure.
However, I have found myself lately being discontent, with of all things, the temperature. I am constantly complaining about how cold it is. I am certain that if I was somewhere on a warm beach I would be content. A comfortably 70 degrees plus would be fine year round.
I can not even limit it to the weather. At home I find that I can not get warm without layers of blankets or without the heater so high I get a nosebleed. I literally enjoy the hot flashes because for a moment I am warm. At work, I am also generally freezing, although when I am busy I have less of an opportunity to focus on it, so I just press through. At church, I am constantly apologizing for my cold hands.
I have always been one that has cold hands and feet. However, it has never bothered me as much as it has this year. I have no known health conditions that would cause me to be more sensitive to the cold. This winter hasn’t even been that cold for our area. I have lived in this area most of my life; the decade I didn’t I lived farther north with colder temperatures.
Expecting it to be above seventy year round in a location that truly experiences every season is unrealistic. There are even things about the cold weather that I enjoy. I love to see the evidence of cold temperatures, snow-covered trees and grass. I love the spring flowers with dew covered grass. I appreciate that the cold kills bugs and viruses.
Really I just need to suck it up and keep my mouth shut. I am in a location that I love, my hometown community. I am surrounded by the majority of my family. I have a job I love. I attend a church that I not only love, but one that challenges me to grow. I have connections in this community that enable to me help others. The coldness does not last forever and the temperature should not be a condition for my happiness. I need to keep my focus on the positive things around me and learn to enjoy snuggling up in my blankets or coat until I find the inner warmth of happiness again.