There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happiness is Overrated

I hear the question “what will make you happy?” or “what can I do to make you happy?” a lot.  Hell, I ask it of myself all the time….”what will make me happy?”  or “what do I need in my life to make me happy”.  I ask it as if by finding the answer, that elusive thing out there, that one thing that I am lacking, then I will finally be happy.

But what do I even mean when I say “I just want to be happy?”  Does that mean I never want to be sad? Is that what I really want?  I love to watch movies that make me cry, so does being sad “make” me happy?

Does being happy mean I will never experience difficult times in life? That I will have smooth sailing from here on out?  Quite frankly, that would make me bored.  Not that I want to wish difficult times on myself, but if I look closely at those times in my life, the really challenging times, it was those times that I learned the most about myself. And it was during the challenging times that I grew the most as a person.

Does being happy mean that that I will never be angry, frustrated or discontent?  But it’s when I’m feeling those emotions that I make changes in my life. And those changes are generally for the better.  When I’m frustrated or discontent, I evaluate why I am and I work to change it. 

So what do I mean when I say I need this or that to make me happy?  Happiness that I attain from something outside of myself is not really happiness.  It’s a momentary feeling of being happy, perhaps, but it never lasts.  Why?

Because I can’t be happy all the time, in fact, I think it would be downright annoying to be happy all the time.  To be fully human, fully alive, I must experience all things. All emotions, even the painful ones.  Maybe even especially the painful ones.  Because that’s when I realize that nothing out there will make me happy, that can only come from within.  And it isn’t a feeling…it’s a state of mind.

1 comment:

  1. happiness is for ametuers.

    contentment. that's the kicker.