You Don’t Deserve Happiness!
“The only key to happiness is: you don’t deserve to be happy, you decide to be happy.”
Do you deserve happiness? Think carefully before you answer, for you surely condemn yourself if you answer ‘no’ or ‘yes’!
The transformation in my client Paul from session one to session six was truly miraculous. When I first met Paul, he was exhausted, demoralized, cynical and dispirited. Now, he was radiant, lively, optimistic and happy. I decided to ask Paul one of my favourite questions: “Paul, what would you say is the most important lesson you have learned about happiness?”
Paul paused. He did not speak for a full two minutes or so. Then he smiled. “Well,” he said, “in my twenties, I worked so damned hard in the hope I would be happy in my thirties. In my thirties, I saved up everything and struggled everyday so that I might be happy in my forties. In my forties, I sacrificed everything and started all over again so that I would be happy in my fifties. Now that I’m in my fifties, I’m not falling for that trick again!”
“So what was the lesson?” I asked.
“All my life I have tried to deserve happiness,” said Paul, “I have always promised myself that one day, soon I’ll be able to afford to rest, relax and take it easy. But after thirty years of hard slog, I found myself still waiting for that one day, soon to arrive. That’s why I came to see you. I had grown tired of waiting for happiness, and of trying deserve happiness. Now, I realise you don’t have to deserve happiness, you just have to choose it.”
Here is the key to happiness: to be happy, give up the belief – you must deserve happiness. Deserving is treacherous.
The idea, you have to deserve happiness is born from guilt and unworthiness, and guilt is hell. Indeed, the moment you believe you must deserve happiness you condemn yourself to a life of hell in which you struggle, sacrifice, strive and judge yourself constantly.
To have to deserve happiness, actually means denying happiness. Do we insist a rose must deserve its own fragrance, the Sun its own light, the ocean its water? No! Happiness is natural; and we require no Trojan horse to be happy.
One of my favourite affirmations of “The Happiness Project” is, I delight in the knowledge that all the happiness I experience is thoroughly non-deserved!
Here is the great truth! The words ‘you don’t deserve happiness’ are not, therefore, a message of doom and gloom; they are a message of hope. Deserving is unnecessary. It is an illusion.
The key to happiness is, you don’t deserve to be happy, you decide to be happy. Your decision is the key. To be happy, choose happiness.
To be peaceful, choose peace. To be free, choose freedom. Deserving is guilt in another guise, and therefore, is useless. So, wipe the word ‘deserve’ from your vocabulary. And teach no one that they deserve happiness or anything else. And when you are happy, think not, “What did I do to deserve this?” pray rather, “Dear God, thank you!” Gratitude enables receiving – effortless receiving. Gratitude is an affirmation – it attracts what it focuses on. Gratitude is enough.