“If you can’t find happiness inside yourself, you’ll never find it in the outside world, no matter where you move. Wherever you go, there you are. You take yourself with you. This is the essence of happiness—learning to find inner contentment in any situation.”
reblogged from: http://reinventingmyselfinto.com/2012/06/word-snob/
I don’t really think there’s a road to happiness as an aim of life. Somehow everyone answers “I want to be happy” when asked about the most desirable “thing” in life. However I don’t believe that such a state of “being happy” really exists. It would have no sense at all as a goal of life. Once reached, fulfilled, what would one live for?!
Happiness is a rather deep feeling, an almost ecstatic one, that we experience just once in a while. It is very different from joy, gladness, satisfaction, pleasure or even contentment. Happiness can embrace all these feelings and others can be still added to the ‘list’ our positive emotions! That’s why we simply couldn’t feel and be happy all the time. It wouldn’t matter how hard we tried: we just couldn’t. Our human nature doesn’t allow us to stop fighting, to give ourselves to passivity, to stand still and say “I’m happy now. I’ve reached my goal of life. (It sounds a bit like as if we were ready to tell: I can die now.)” Our essence is unsatisfied itself. Mine at least is, as far as giving and getting are concerned. I’m far too demanding, first and above all from myself. And it seems never to be enough. Nevertheless I feel far more comfortable in giving, in loving. That’s my sea.
Fortunately we’re not happy all the time. And someone who tells it, either lies (to himself, above all) or is unconscious. Or too simple a person to even think about the meaning of “being happy”. No wonder ” ignorant” and unconscious people are usually the happiest ones! Knowledge, wisdom and the entire conscience of things around and inside us don’t set us free to be so.
I can say “I’m happy for you!”; “I’ve had a very happy day”; “Gosh! I’m so happy now!”, (and this is my viewpoint on the issue from the very beginning of my comment, I reinforce the idea, without making an absolute truth out of it – there’s no such concept!) but this “Being happy forever and ever” only exists in fairly tales. And even these can have different readings and funny, remarkable endings! This reminds me of a German fairy tale, “Die Froschprinzessin” (The princess frog) - I’m not quite sure about the exact translation into English-, whose story is not relevant for what I mean but its ending that goes like this: “They got married, had tons of kids and lived happily ever after. And if they haven’t died yet, then they are still alive.”
From fairy tales that feed the dream world of kids and that we read them before falling asleep back to happiness that keeps us wide awake, alive and kicking, in a sort of “state of grace”, how would we value it if we “had” it all the time?! It’s certainly safe and sound to “taste” a bit from all “flavours” from the world of feelings. They belong to us, are part of us and it’s only feeling (them) that we can decide which ones make us feel good. We can’t avoid them: they are part of life and nature as rainy, sunny and stormy days, but we can learn how to deal with them. And we can LEARN from and with them.
Our life is sort of a road. And we never know what we’re going to find at the end of it. Sometimes we drive too slow; sometimes too fast. Other times we must choose between left or right or we simply drive straight on. Quite often we get lost at unknown places, where the road-signs are not visible enough or when we’re not careful (n)or focussed. Then we need help. Some of us almost go mad trying to find it on the road map; others prefer to get out of the car, take a deep breath, look around and walk towards the nearest soul we get a glimpse of in order to ask for help. After a while we listen to ourselves laughing out loud in-between what’s about to become a non-ending talk. Before turning backwards on the next roundabout, we still get some time for a coffee and while we get into the car and listen to that “See you! Drive safe!” we realize we’ve made a friend out of a stranger in the middle of nowhere. Often we must drive the same way twice, meaning an almost nervous breakdown or a change to notice what we missed the first time. Our arrival is always unpredictable: we never know the exact time; we never know how we’ll arrive (mad at us for getting lost? Tired? Angry because of all that traffic jam? Furious for not having left home earlier? Pleased for having met someone new? Glad?( We’re not that late!) Happy? (I’m home! I’m OK.! Someone I love is waiting for me!); we don’t even know if we’ll get there. Desirable is not to think too much about it everyday, otherwise we’ll live much too scared and this means we won’t live.
There’s no road to happiness but you can find happiness on the road. It’s a bit like saying: “It’s not happy people who care about others, but it is caring about others that you feel happy.”
Trying to keep the kid alive inside ourselves in adult age is a secret to keep a young spirit and an open mind. We are cheerful, sweet, tender and trustful. Mad sometimes, as well. But a certain doses of madness is essential to our own emotional equilibrium. We laugh as much as we cry. And ( highly important!) we don’t hide our emotions. So bitterness doesn’t grow up inside, nor a stone takes the place of our heart.
And we feel happy more often!