Happiness = reality - expectations

So many people on my Facebook page are talking about their emotions now that this country’s presidential elections are over.

My own honest feelings: sadness, anger, fear, and shock. The thing is that I had hoped for a different outcome.

But what I know is this:

Happiness = reality - expectations.

What I expected (or hoped) would happen and what did happen were not the same. Remove the expectations and reality is reality. Reality is neutral. What is, is. It’s only our own minds that assign a color to things. 

When it rains, it rains. Who decides if we like the rain or hate the rain? Our minds. The rain is just doing what it does, falling from the sky.

My reality is that I’m healthy.
My reality is that I’m married to the love of my life.
My reality is that even though I am no longer working in an office job, I am doing what I can to become my own boss.
My reality is that I love my step kids, I love my family and they love me.
My reality is that I am strong and determined to survive this.

I can be happy with that reality. I can see all that I have to be grateful for. Rather than the expectations that didn’t end up happening, or rather than the future that I can’t predict.

And the reality is that my candidate didn't win. And the one who did? He is who he is. Nothing I think about him is going to change that.

Worrying about what hasn’t happened yet is not going to do anything except encourage feelings of anxiety.  Worrying about what has happened isn’t going to change it, and will only encourage feelings of disappointment. Ask yourself if you want to have those feelings.

I know you are processing your own emotions. I know there are those who are not happy that our country, that holds so much promise in the palm of its hand, for whatever reason, decided to put into office a presidential candidate who can’t seem to distinguish lie from truth, who stands for divisiveness, whose personal life and business life have shown without a doubt that he engages in shady, unethical and perhaps even criminal activities that hurt regular people, rather than help or support them. 

You can certainly disagree with me. You have a right to your feelings, thoughts and ideas, whatever they are. But if they are causing you pain, if they are physically affecting you, or doing more harm to you than good, or doing harm to others, why would you hold onto them and make yourself feel them over and over again?

The more I stay out of my good-thought/bad-thought routine, the more I’m able to just be with it. I love to observe the instant without any judgment. Birds simply allow whatever comes their way, no matter if the wind picks up or the rain falls, and I work at being like one of those fabulous creatures. The way I do so is to ask myself this question: “What’s happening right here and now, independent of my opinion about it?” Then I notice all that I can take in — the sky, the wind, the sounds, the light, the insects, the temperature, the people, the judgments... everything. I stay free of opinions and just let myself be.
— Wayne Dyer, from "Excuses Begone!"

Wayne's suggestions for staying present:

  1. Practice becoming aware of your reactions when someone introduces any kind of disturbance in your life and notice where your thoughts take you, what you think about in that instant and ask, How am I feeling right now?
  2. Meditation. Practice any form that appeals to you and you'll discover that you become adept at allowing interfering thoughts to flow through in the now, rather than trying to stop or change them.
  3. Yoga. The word yoga means "union" and helps to rejoin your Source and free yourself from useless, habitual thoughts.
  4. Affirmations. Repeat this one over and over: "I choose to stay fully present in the now."

Let me know how it goes. What are your emotions now that this country’s presidential elections are over?