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Authentic Happiness – Stage 5
This is where the words like authenticity, genuine, humility, unconditional love, enlightened, and wise have meaning. The person that has transcended the conditional happiness modes they were socialized with and can express themselves genuinely. This authentic expression has a similar joy and freedom that a young child has, yet has the common sense and wisdom of maturity to be respectful of the socialized norms other people operate in. The expression of joy is still there happening, often in a silent way, but the physical expression is managed in a socially acceptable way.
At this point feeling joy, gratitude, love, and respect is no longer dependent on the condition of external triggers. It is a mindset, perspective, and emotional state that has been practiced and internally maintained. With fears and limiting beliefs removed, it is no longer a struggle to be centered. Love naturally flows out, much the way it did as a child. It is no longer expressed with loud singing at inappropriate times, running around or yelling. The social rules are followed out of respect and, but there is no fear or judgment about breaking them.
There is no longer a fear of what others think because you no longer operate by that conditioned response. There is not a shame, guilt, or anger response because you have retrained your emotional system to stop responding in those ways. There is a deeply ingrained feeling of self acceptance that isn’t affected when someone comments negatively about us, our body, or work, or our art. Because we no longer react in those negative ways, we no longer fear what people say. The same happens for feeling different about what we do. There is a freedom to express our selves because there is no self judgment.
There are perhaps times that the mind might wander back into a judgmental thought, or have an unpleasant emotional reaction, but over time these are less and less. A person still feels the full range of emotions, it’s just that there is very little mind chatter of judgments, negative thoughts, and expectations to cause any. When there is, it doesn’t happen very long, or become very strong. The natural expressions of emotions dominate, and over time become more solid. There is no longer a disparity between the script of their life that they believe and actual life to react to, because those beliefs have been dismantled.
At this stage happiness isn’t conditional on any external accomplishments, circumstances or anyone else. Happiness becomes a choice. With this state of conscious development and awareness there is always another choice in perspective and interpretation about events. Even death can be approached with equanimity as just another adventure in experiences of life. At this stage happiness is a legitimate choice, and one that is chosen over and over again in every situation. Why? Because it is the smart thing to do, and a person has the personal will power to execute this choice because their mind is no longer controlled by conditional beliefs they were socialized with.
Operating and behaving at Stage 5 Happiness seems unfathomable, impossible, or confusing to a person in stage 3 or entering into stage 4 happiness.