Are ‘You’ Unhappy? Or Is Unhappiness Just Appearing?

man emotions

“There is unhappiness in me.” A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle

It’s so very easy to say inwardly or outwardly ‘I’m sad’ or ‘I’m depressed’ or ‘I’m miserable, but how many of us question these beliefs?

This year I published my first book and I also gave up my drug of choice – coffee. Well I still have decaf, but not caffeine for me, not even tea.

Writing the book was healing, while publishing it was exciting and scary. The ego however decided to identify with publishing the book, even though the entirety of the book is all about the opposite of attachments to this kind of thing. The ego tried to convince me: “This will make me happy!” Oh boy.. such an illusionary way of thinking. The ego gave a lovely little ‘happy dance’ and such a big thing to attach to.

Of course publishing is not the route to happiness. There are no routes to happiness. No forms or identities that can change in the blink of an eye can bring a sense of lasting happiness.

Happiness is not a thing or a status or a belonging.  TWEET THIS

But the ego strengthens itself through a sense of identification with outer events and likes to feel in control, be it ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ control.

My ego, devoid of its drug of choice, had nothing to boost its sense of self. So I allowed my ego to take me down the latter path, negative control.

Be Factual

Eckhart Tolle, in his book ‘A New Earth’ speaks about how important it is to be factual, in that we can simply state ‘there is sadness here’ or ‘there is unhappiness’ and accept this; this is a fact; this is what is taking place.But not to drown in the story of ‘I’m unhappy’ – because this ‘I’ is not real.


The ego will fight this, because the ego survives through its ability to control and create mental drama and identification with the outside world.

So am ‘I’ unhappy? No! There may be unhappiness arising, but I’m choosing to see it as a spiritual invitation for greater presence. This can go for any emotion or experience. If you are sick ‘You’ are not sick, there is sickness present. If you have depression, ‘You’ are not depressed, there is depression taking place. It’s time to separate the ‘I’ from the truth of who you really are.

This past few years really brought home to me how easy it is to be very ego identified.

‘Look at me! I’m a writer’

‘Look at me! I’m poor’

‘Look at them — they don’t have to go through all this crap and they have it easy’

We identify with so much from our labels as Mother, Father, SEO, writer, artist, poor, rich, popular, shy, famous, invisible….

This list just goes on and on…

And it’s our identification and attachment to these labels and the illusory sense of self that causes unhappiness to arise.

As Byron Katie would say:

“Who would you be without your story?”
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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin is the author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ , a passionate writer and blogger questioning life’s illusions. After what seemed like a decade of intense anxiety, feelings of failure and grief from the loss of her father she chose to take a mindfulness path and has not looked back since. Kelly encourages people to find the treasures that lie within the pain and suffering and to learn to see themselves as ‘enough’ exactly as they are, right now through her writing and You Tube channel .

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