Unhappy people are always confused when they are told to try and be happy. Their minds are occupied by grievances; there seems to be no room for new experiences that might be uplifting, and even if they came along, they would be seen through the gray haze of one’s misery.
So the search cannot be for happy experiences. Those are already available in abundance. The search is for an opening that allows happiness to become your experience. This opening comes about very differently from the way most people suppose. Most people try to make themselves happy by forcing their unhappy feelings underground, or by turning their backs on them or pretending that they don’t exist.
If you have a closet stuffed with junk, the best way to find room for new stuff is to clean the closet. In this case the closet is the nervous system, and one cleans it out at the level of awareness.
Communicate your desire to be free of this hurt. Ask for inner guidance to The healing process isn’t mystical; it involves well-known practical steps. Look directly at what hurts you and let it show you what to do. Listen to what you feel, but don’t give in to it. Know for certain that you can remove old hurts. Be patient, since you will have to return to your old hurt many times.
Most people feel trapped by their resentments because their behavior runs counter to these steps. They don’t look honestly at their hurt but focus instead on blaming someone outside themselves. They don’t communicate a desire to let go of their anger but keep nursing it. Instead of listening to what they feel in the moment, they replay the same tired reactions from the past. Instead of being patient, they take a few stabs at healing only to conclude that there’s nothing to be done.
Adapted from: Peace Is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005).