Happy - oh what a word.
Nonstop bombardment of how to be happy, why to be happy, what to be happy about.
Happy happy happy. Happy!!!!!!!!
Okay, I get it. I've used it quite a bit.
And I've learned that it can rub people the wrong way. The last thing I want to do is create an anti-happiness movement, so I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify what exactly I mean when I say happy. Or fulfilled. Both are interchangeable in the context of this blog. But first...
Being happy does not mean that:
You don't, or shouldn't feel sadness, anger, grief, or sorrow
You need to feel guilty if you're not happy
You're always smiling
You're always laughing
You always appear to be in a jolly good mood
You're always motivated
You always feel purpose
You're always generous to others
You're always serving others
You radiate light 24/7
No, no, and no. If you're thinking about happiness this way while reading my blog, you're mistaken. Of course, all of these feel good, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling anything that's genuine.
But lots of genuine feelings don't feel good, and it's still important to experience those. In the context of my blog and the way I use the word happy, you can absolutely be happy on the inside 100% of the time while experiencing outer emotions of sadness, anger, or discomfort in any way.
Happiness doesn't always equal smiles.
What I do mean by happiness, or fulfillment, is the following:
A deep sense of inner peace
Inner calm amidst any outer storm
Full acceptance of any and all emotions
Living in the present
Not resisting what is
Complete acceptance and harmony with reality
Full participation with the moments unfolding in front of you
A separation between you, the one who feels and thinks, and your feelings and thoughts themselves
A spiritual, not logical or emotional, knowing that deep down, you'll always be okay
These, to me, equal true inner happiness. True fulfillment within.
And these are the things I'm searching for, and encourage you to find within yourself.
To end this post, I want to share a message that my girlfriend recently came across. It speaks about wholeness. That's a word I've never used in this blog before, but I think the core of her message is in line with what I feel is true.
"I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don't mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It's a really odd thing that we're now seeing people saying 'write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep,' and 'cheer up' and 'happiness is our birthright' and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say "Quick! Move on! Cheer up!' I'd like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word 'happiness' and to replace it with the word 'wholeness.' Ask yourself, 'Is this contributing to my wholeness?' and if you're having a bad day, it is." - Jeannette
The problem isn't in the happiness, or the sadness. The problem lies in which one you choose to accept in your life, and which you choose to reject. What are you resisting, and what are you clinging to?
Are you resisting the emotions that Jeannette says contribute to our wholeness (sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure) because they don't feel good, while simultaneously clinging to the "happiness" that does feel good?
This is the real problem. It's not the pursuit of happiness. It's the flawed pursuit of pleasure, mistaken for happiness.
Live with substance!