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Inner And Outer Happiness

November 2, 2010

There are two concepts of happiness,  “inner happiness” and “outer happiness”.  Many Yogi Masters, Buddhists, and those who practice meditation (like Pagans), have had knowledge of this concept for many centuries. It’s not an new idea, for sure. But what is fairly new, many psychologists and therapists are including the idea into their treatment plans. In fact, most of what a person gets in therapy is learning how to find inner happiness in their lives, in balance with outer happiness. For those who aren’t familiar with this concept, let me explain…

Inner Happiness – It’s the happiness that one finds within oneself. It can be found within self-esteem, a sense of self-worth, a peace within ones mind, and with good health. It’s the happiness that you find, without the aid or a dependence on others or material things. It the feeling that you’re secure and loved, without the words having to be said by others or without having to be surrounded by expensive things, in order to prove it. It’s also an happiness that is not easily lost, stolen, or taken away.

Outer Happiness – It’s the happiness that one finds within others and material things. This is a dependence of feeling happy based solely on the words and actions of others, of material items, of high career statuses and prestigious job titles, of social acceptance and social statuses, and so on. In other words, it’s not happiness created by yourself, but from the direct action or reaction of others, material objects, the environment around you, or social titles and acceptance.

Both inner and outer happiness is needed in a person’s life. Neither one is a bad thing. But there is an balance, that one must keep with both, to have good mental health. Choosing only one of the two is an extreme, which will lead to a lot of mental issues. For example, if  a person were to choose only inner happiness, they would become withdrawn from the world and basically an hermit! And if one were to choose only outer happiness, their well-being would always be dependent on others or material objects. :-/

It’s not good to be isolated and alone, even if you are able to find happiness on your own. You still need other PEOPLE for socialization, emotional support, and life experiences. And likewise, it’s not healthy or fair to depend on others for all of your happiness. People do have their own lives and can’t be there for you ALL THE TIME. Also, people do make mistakes, don’t always agree with you, or sometimes they will let you down. Putting all your happiness onto another person, or persons, is not a very stable thing to do, nor is it fair to other persons involved. :-/

This is why many therapists in the mental health community do focus on teaching their patients on how to find their own inner happiness. No self-respecting or GOOD therapist would ever focus a session around a person trying to get outer happiness only, for a very good reason! Learning the skill of inner happiness is a great tool for anyone, especially those suffering with self-esteem issues, as it can help a person gain more confidence in themselves and a sense of self-worth. Yes, outer happiness is way easier to do than inner. Because outer happiness is a basic tool that we are all born with, to seek happiness from an outside source, beyond ourselves. But easier doesn’t mean better and vice versa.

For a good balance in mental health, a person needs a little of both, not one of the extreme. For example… my outer happiness is my best friend and of chatting with him all day. I gain a sense of love, care, self-esteem, self-worth, and peace from him. But when he’s not around or will not be able to be around for long periods of time, my happiness doesn’t die until he returns. This is where it’s good to have inner happiness, my own sense of love for myself, my own care, my own self-esteem and self-worth. So, when he’s away and living his own life, I’m not crumbling or falling under depression, unable to find happiness because my outer source has left me. And actually, it would be highly unfair to him, if I deem him the only source of my happiness. It would make it so that he wouldn’t be unable to live his own life or to make his own mistakes (always having to be “perfect” around me and always there for me), as my well-being would be his sole responsibility. And that’s a LOT to  ask of one person, I don’t care who that person is in relation to you (even if they are a parent or spouse), that’s just too much! :-o

I am able to find happiness within myself, automatically and effortlessly, on my own. Though, the reason why I am good with finding my inner happiness, is because of the tools that I had gained through years of therapy! It didn’t happen overnight and it takes hard work and practice. And in a long run, having inner happiness as a tool grants a person a stability. Because no matter what happens in relationships or in the world, inner happiness can not be stolen from you. Even in bad times, inner happiness will still be there and can be called upon at will. :-)

Incidentally, this is my 101st post… it brings me a lot of inner happiness, just knowing that I have written in this blog for so long. It doesn’t matter that many don’t read it or comment here (outer happiness) , what matters is the self-satisfaction that I get from starting an idea and continuing with it for this long. ;-)

-D

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