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Stumbling Around Happiness

The only really reliable way of predicting how we might feel is to ask other people who are now experiencing the life we imagined. Ironically we rarely do consult others about the future we are dreaming of. We all believe we are unique, special, above average and that someone else’s experience will not be like ours. I knew business people who would have shared their experience, identical to my own right now. What for,  I wouldn’t have listened anyway. I am not alone in this, we all need to have the experience ourselves to believe it.

We also have this annoying psychological habit of habituation, which means that rather than deriving more pleasure from a consistent positive experience, as we adapt to it, we get less pleasure from it over time. This is why although I should be overjoyed about the health of my marriage and family,  I have to continuously frighten myself by some imaginary loss to stay in touch with the joy.

The defects in our imagined future are not that different from our selective memory. We remember things in a certain way to create a reality we can live with. We remember the best view of things and the facts that will support them. Or if you are negative mostly, you construct your memory around the way you think. I often try to challenge myself to remember what actually happened,  but am usually unable to separate the events from interpretation.

All of this takes me to the here and now of an un-anticipated discomfort of life being what I want, but not necessarily feeling how I thought it would… welcome to life in a human body on earth. I tried to get Dr. Gilbert to talk to me on Lunch with the Loveologist about all this,  he declined, after having talked about it for the last three years. I can see how he might get all talked out about this- still I am glad to know why I keep hitting this positivity wall.

Read more: Inspiration, Love, Mental Wellness, Relationships, Spirit, Wendy's Positivity Quest,

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

36 comments

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5:59AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:39AM PST on Dec 3, 2011

I was given a nice desk calendar for Christmas last year. It's called Believing in Ourselves and each day there's an empowering or inspiring or funny comment by a woman. Thursday's said, 'The life you have led doesn't need to be the only life you have' - Anna Quidlen. So, if it's no longer serving you, there's always some change you can make to try to make things feel more authentic.

3:47AM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

So there's collusion within, huh?

8:30PM PDT on Aug 13, 2010

Thanks for the insight.

8:56PM PDT on Aug 12, 2010

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1:56PM PDT on Aug 12, 2010

thanks!

1:41PM PDT on Aug 12, 2010

I think of King Solomon trying to be happy. More wives, more horses, more gold, big temple. Naw, happiness comes from G-d and yourself. Accomplishing goals, helping others. That's what gives me happiness. We are all so lucky.

12:21AM PDT on Aug 11, 2010

Thanks.

3:22AM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

thanks for this

2:13AM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

interesting.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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