Why ‘being happy’ may be a poor use of your time

July 18, 2019
Helen Joy Butler Bringing Awareness quote

As I was driving to an appointment recently I was thinking about the different emotions I’ve felt over the past week.

Everything from full on happiness and JOY, to the total opposite end of the spectrum – sadness, anger, shame.

And as I thought about these emotions, I got thinking about the concept of ‘being happy’, and whether it was a worthwhile pursuit or not.

Because, you see, I actually don’t think it is. 

At least, I don’t think it’s a good pursuit all of the time.


Because if I’m striving to be happy, or pretending to be happy all of the time, what am I doing with all of those other emotions I feel ssooooo deeply as a highly sensitive / aware person?

(BTW – is it OK with you if I drop ‘sensitive / aware’ and just stick with ‘aware’? I’d be keen to hear your thoughts – I want us all to be on the same page with this!)

A quick Google search tells me that psychologists have been arguing about emotions for years (no pun intended) – centuries in fact. Aristotle talked about fourteen distinct emotions as early as the 4th century. By the turn of the 20th century there were over 90 different definitions for the word ’emotion’. But in general, from what I could find online, ‘happiness’ is one of our four key emotions, along with anger, sadness and fear.

So my question is this.

As a highly aware person – heck, as a society! – why is it we strive to be happy more often than not, when there are (at least) three other distinct emotions we can connect with – and importantly feel into?

(As an aside, I’m no psychologist but I do know my range of emotions feels like it extends much further than four!!)

I’m going to take a stab in the dark here and say – society makes us do it!

Everyone wants to see me not just happy – but HAPPY!

Now, ‘everyone’ may not be accurate, but my hope is that you see where I’m going with this.

Some examples:

When someone starts crying over lunch with work colleagues, or on TV when being interviewed by a journalist, or in any other general social setting, what do they tend to say?

“I’m sorry” – followed by wiping away their tears and pushing their emotions down, even if their heart is telling another story.

When a child throws a tantrum at a restaurant, or at Grandma’s house, or at the airport, what do many people tend to do, parents or otherwise?

Judge them like their behaviour is unacceptable. When the reality may be that they have an extremely good reason to throw a tantrum (exhaustion, hunger, illness, injury) – we just may not know what that is.

When someone has a very real and frightening fear about a particular thing – like bungie jumping or public speaking or wearing a bikini at the beach – what do people around them tend to do?

Say something like “Oh come on, it’s not that big a deal. Get over it and just do it!”.

Hmmm ….

I know what I’m saying here may be causing a few brain waves to fire in uncomfortable ways.

Because I know what I’m asking you is this.

Firstly, to own, dive deep into, and be OK with the full spectrum and depth of emotions you feel as a highly aware person.

Secondly, to allow others to show their true emotions in a kind, loving and compassionate way. (As long as everyone is safe – violence of any sort is not OK.)

Thirdly, to observe your own and other’s emotions in a different way. To allow the more challenging emotions (whichever ones they are for you) to come through, with awareness, in a way that will help you or the other person move the emotion out of the body and into the ether.

Eckhart Tolle shares a concept which I’ve been putting into practice for many years, without actually knowing what words to attach to it.

He talks about the concept of Event – Reaction – Awareness.

Essentially what happens is we tend to get stuck in the Event – Reaction loop in interactions with ourself and others.

So an example of that may be when your partner or children always do the same thing even though you’ve asked them a hundred times to do that thing differently.

Think: “Please put your bag where it’s meant to go after school. Please put your dirty dishes in the sink. Please make your bed. Please put your washing in the dirty clothes basket”.

Through the Event – Reaction process, the event happens, there’s a reaction, then another, and another – thus causing everyone in the situation to get stuck in the Event – Reaction loop.

But what happens if you bring Awareness into the situation?

“Please put your bag where it’s meant to go after school” with Awareness may become “Wow, he’s so tired when he gets home. I’ll give him a little leeway and let him know that as long as his bag is unpacked and put away before dinner I’ll be OK with it”.

By bringing Awareness to the situation we start to see things in a very different way.

We start to see the emotions we carry around what’s happening in our lives.

We start to see how and why others react the way they do, and in turn the emotions they’re carrying within themselves.

And importantly, we start to loosen our ‘control’ over what we essentially can’t control anyway (other people, events and situations) and begin to create real change in our lives.

Another good reason to strive to be a Highly Aware Person, don’t you think?

With much love,

Helen xx

PS I did an Elemental Space Clearing® for Allison in NSW recently. Afterward she said “I finally got to spend time in the healing loft today and did my first distant healing session since the Clearing. It felt amazing!! I could notice the feeling of being grounded straight away it was like being outside it was so good. I loved being in the space and felt much more settled there”. If you’d like to explore the kind of Clearing Allison had, just pop over here.

Helen Joy Butler - Sanctuary Creator, Elemental Space Clearing® practitioner and #HSP Warrior


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