What is “Happiness”? First, let’s look at the original meaning of happiness.
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
Looking at this definition, I can see that in my life well... Happiness was lacking for most of my life. It seems the most I remember about happiness is that I always wanted more of it and there never seemed to be enough. I thought people are supposed to be happy, so I should be happy. The next part of the thought and feeling process for was the belief that something must be wrong because I was not happy. All of this energy focused on being happy or unhappy is exhausting, dark, and painful at times
Those sometimes dark days when you don’t really have the desire to talk or be around anyone and the world seems so unfair that you are just sad and you don’t know why. Is it just me that has felt this? The worst part of it all is the pressure and the universal assumption that I need and deserve to be happy. The gray area of happiness and unhappiness and the wanting to be happy. Then focus on the resignation and surrender that at that moment, I am not in fact happy at all. So what should I be doing to be happy?
How often do you experience being happy? Is it all the time? How long does it last?
If you are not experiencing being happy, then what state are you in and what and where is your attention at? Are you focusing on what you don’t have i.e relationship,boyfriend, girlfriend,, car, or money thus making you unhappy? Or is your attention on what it is in your life that makes you unhappy i.e divorce, abuse, missing the mortgage payment, money for food?Maybe it is both? There are so many things to focus on here, and that is what you are doing. Focusing on what you do have which is “sadness” or discontent and your interpretation of what has caused this i.e why does he or she not love me, why is this happening too me? The questions of why am I feeling this way, and focusing on what you don’t have which is happiness in this moment. This puts you in another state of mind, which is wanting or what we will call point B. You are in point A “sad” and wanting to be at point C “happy” what is now more pain and suffering is being in point B “wanting” which adds more suffering and sadness on top of the two states you are already in: The state of where you are point A “sad” where you are not point C “happy” and where you are “wanting” Point B. Some might argue that the fourth dimension to your suffering (as pointed out earlier) is the” Oh no, something is wrong with all of this. What is there to fix?”. All of this is driven by our beliefs which then takes our thoughts and emotional state upside-down. Sadly, this is the point of our focus, and it is extreme.
This is something I will go into later. For now, this is just me playing around with some insights I have had about my self. So far, I have discussed where I am, where I am not, where I want to be, and that something is wrong with this (or me). This is because I am in a painful place to be unhappy or sad, and the wanting to be other than those feelings can drive anyone mad, or worse… It can push them to the point of despair, or even ending one's life.
I was talking with someone the other day who was going through a very hard time with a few things in her life, I wanted to say something that would console her and, suddenly the old cliche hit me. I have heard it so many times in my life, and I almost blurted it out loud: “This too shall pass”. Later that same day, I met with a friend who shared some very exciting news about a job promotion that made him very happy. Again, it hit me: “This too shall pass”.
Whether it is your finances, car, job, nice suits, poverty, happiness, sadness, youth, or old age, family, or friends... this too shall pass. This is acknowledging the impermanence of life. Once there is acceptance with this notion, you can learn to let go of those feelings you are focusing on. Things become easier when you say, nothing stays the same, and notice that even the simple things change, like the seasons, such as the leaves on the trees, mountains and life itself. This is the path of least resistance. There isn’t any resistance for what there is or to the discomfort that this space holds.
The misconception that what you have makes you happy will, for the time being, make you comfortable. Cars, a nice home, money in the bank, a boat, etc… These will certainly give you some comfort and a sense of security. However, all of this happiness and comfort is temporary. Happiness seems to come from the external sources, whereas joy is something cultivated with in. I get out of my head and ask the question. “What is happening right now in this moment? Have I had food, shelter or water in this moment without looking at my wants “?””I usually notice that I have all I need for this very moment.
This is the state of being in gratitude I am okay because this is without wanting, and wanting has drama attached to it based on what I have and do not have. The is a huge story behind why I do and don’t, and I am no longer held captive by my feelings or thoughts.
There is so much that I want to control, and there is an illusion that I can control circumstances in my life. “This too shall pass.”