HOW CLOSE CAN WE COME TO "HAPPILY EVER AFTER"?

The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.


This culture makes a huge investment in the happily-ever-after belief. Not only do most of the tales we tell our children end this way, but we have a number of similar beliefs that keep tripping us up as adults.


A common unhappiness-causing adult belief in "happily ever after" is, "If I do the right things, then I should be rewarded with happiness." Anger and outrage often follow when the result seems to be more like punishment than a reward. Justice is supposed to prevail, according to many of us, yet it all too frequently seems most blind and capricious. We do not have to give up our belief in justice, just our belief that justice will happen in our lifetime. Punishment by God or by karma outside this lifetime will suffice, thank you. We don't have to try to spend herculean amounts of time, energy and money to make it happen here on earth. More than anything else, it is our failure as a society to have satisfying spiritual beliefs that propels our overzealous concentration on our justice system. We spend billions suing each other, we spend billions on frivolous appeals and we personally await jury verdicts (years later) before we let our old wounds go.


Most everyone causes themselves distress every day because of their judgments of others.

You really can come close to "happily ever after," but the necessity for some unhappiness for a limited amount of time must be accepted. Our growth processes are commonly triggered by our feelings of unhappiness with a given event or person. It is often necessary to go through a certain amount of unhappy feelings before one feels happy. However, that process need not take long. We tend to accept days and weeks of mild depression as OK, but they are not necessary if we are willing to face the feelings behind the mild depression. We tend to expect many months of grief after a death, but often that can be shortened dramatically. As a rule, (this will vary from one person to the next and from this week to the next), try for 23 1/2 hours of happiness a day during normal times. Stay with your unhappiness only for a short time, but do not attempt to avoid it entirely. Unhappiness can be postponed for a few hours or even a few days, but its complete avoidance will likely increase the severity and duration of every one of your symptoms.


There are several "thinking" therapies available. "Thinking" therapies are often the most productive in terms of happiness for your therapy dollar. You can also make worthwhile thinking changes by using this book or by reading others.


More Excerpts This Chapter
   LET ME HIT YOU WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER
   THE TYRANNY OF JUDGMENTS
   THAT IS THE WAY I AM
   YOU MAKE ME UNHAPPY
   YOU HURT MY FEELINGS- THEREFORE YOU SHOULD CHANGE
   STICKS AND STONES
   WE DIG THINKING RUTS
   SIZE AND CONTENTS OF THE UNCONSCIOUS
   NATURE VS. NURTURE VS. LIFEPLAN
   THE PERFECTION THAT YOU ARE NOW
   BE HAPPY GETTING WHAT YOU DON'T WANT
   YOU'LL SEE IT WHEN YOU BELIEVE IT
   YOU GET WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN
   HOW CLOSE CAN WE COME TO "HAPPILY EVER AFTER"?

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