Just a few thoughts to share, an epiphany I had really.
Happiness is something I’ve been actively seeking in one way or another for atleast 9 years now. Ardently pursuing it!
What I realised recently, however, is that it’s not all I seek, and this is why I’ll never have happiness in the way I thought I needed and wanted it all these years. In fact, I don’t even have the same conceptual understanding of happiness anymore, it’s changed. To give you some context I once went to a mindfulness seminar held by a Buddhist monk who said “Happiness is easy to achieve if it is your only goal. But if you have other desires, like love, success, fortune and so on, happiness cannot be achieved in the truest sense of the word.” I also recently read in a book called the gifts of imperfection, now I’m paraphrasing here, but it said that a joyful life is not a life that is joyful 100% of the time, but one that is strung together by joyful moments, acknowledging those moments, appreciating those moments, and using THOSE moments to shape the way you think and act.
Essentially, what hit me today was that I do not ONLY seek happiness, do I?! Ofcourse not! I’m not a Buddhist monk meditating all day in some Tibetan mountain, I’m not someone who could relinquish the desire to love and be loved, I like having my comfy bed, I like having enough money to buy delicious food, I want to be an excellent teacher and help many people through my teaching. The point is, simple and unfettered happiness is not all I desire. Because to achieve true happiness I’d have to relinquish any other desires, embracing acceptance, selflessness and contentment for my lot in life.
This is not the life I’d like for myself. It sounds like a wonderfully pretty picture, but in reality it’s not quite my idea of a life that would leave me feeling COMPLETE.
So I suppose I’d like to amend my thoughts in part, I’m not seeking happiness I’m seeking a sense of fulfilment, balance and roundedness in my life.
This is an incredibly big revelation for me because it means that all the times I’m sad, or angry, or on the negative end of the spectrum in any way it doesn’t have to mean that “I’m not living a happy life” it really and truly means that I’m only unhappy in that moment and more importantly that the way I look at that event could actually mean that I have no reason to feel unhappy about things not being happy! That sounds convoluded, but to explain, I often feel unhappy because of experiencing unhappiness. I punish myself, feel guilty, attribute reasons for my original unhappiness, I get STUCK on that unhappy thought, which leads to more unhappiness.
But now? NO NEED!
I’m hoping this realisation will help give me some perspective on those times, help me see my unhappiness for what it really is, a part of the process rather than reflective of some sort of failure in my pursuit to “being happy.” After all, I know realise I’m not pursuing “happiness”, I’m pursuing completeness. If that’s even a word!
And the only way I can pursue that is by doing! Doing the things I want to do, forgiving myself went I don’t do something, letting go of disappointment when I do something that didn’t give me the feeling I was hoping for. Generally, I can’t let anything get in the way of doing the things I value in life, as these are the only things I believe will lead me to feeling complete and fulfilled 🙂