Things I've Learned About Happiness

Sometimes I reminisce of the "good old days".

The days when I was younger and more "carefree". I had less responsibilities, less debt, less concern for consequences. Times seemed "simpler".

But were they? Or is my memory playing tricks on me?

If I look at my truth, I can clearly see that I abused my body, let people take advantage of me, sought the approval of others, and felt empty more often than I care to admit.

Though LIFE comes with more complications now, time and experience have give me their own gifts.

  • I feel more confident now in my body, and in my voice.
  • I appreciate what I have, instead of grasping for what I don't.
  • My boundaries are more clearly defined.
  • I tolerate less, and demand more- from both myself and others.
  • I have a better frame work for self-love and self-respect.

If I really look back at my younger years, my "carefreeness" didn't provide me with much care or freedom. And isn't that the goal in life? ...it is for me.

There came a time in my life when I hit a wall. I'll call that wall, "Enough".  

I could go on with an endless list of things I'd had enough of. But when I boil that list down to the essence of what I truly had had enough of, it came down to just one thing: want

I was tired of wanting.

Now, my list of wants is probably different than your list of wants. In fact, my list of wants is different than my list from last year, five years, twenty years ago. The point is, I'd had enough of WANTING. 

Wanting was the problem.

...I also need to say this, wanting isn't always necessarily a bad thing. But we'll get to that in a minute. 

When we come from a place of want, that opens an opportunity for suffering. 

Biologically, we're wired up for abundance. Way back in our primal days we had to work hard for survival, so the more resources we could acquire, the better off we'd be. Fast forward about two million years, here we are, emotional hoarders at heart.

We always seem to want more

Modern humans are tricky critters. We want peace, love, nourishment, safety, control, health, approval, validation, community, pride, yada, yada, yada. And those are legit things to want. In fact, they're good things to try to cultivate in one's life. But we get burnt out, confused, and depressed because we're looking to fulfill these desires with shit that doesn't serve us, and quite frankly, with stuff that sets us back. 

I also think another problem is, we're forgetting to identify these feelings and calling them all happiness

We seem to be a society who's bumbling around, wanting to be happy all the time. But we can't be. We're not supposed to be.

Happiness is a feeling, much like sadness, loneliness, compassion, satisfaction, anger, affection, etc. and it ebbs and flows from one moment to the next.

A life of happiness is an unrealistic expectation.

And you won't find it at the bottom of a bottle, whether it's booze or skin cream. It's not found with likes, follows, or retweets. And the more you chase down this elusive happiness, the less likely you are to snag it. 

And wanting happiness won't create happiness. 

IRONICALLY, I truly believe the more we sit with, and accept the concept that happiness isn't a WAY of life, but rather, a MOMENT in life, the easier it will be to recognize it when it arrives. 

It will release the burden of having to work for something that's impossible to have in the first place. And that is fucking liberating. That is freedom.

My youth was filled with wild "carefree" times, living with abandon, with over stimulated senses. But it wasn't happiness. And I wouldn't trade this sense of balance, peace, and confidence that grows more securely in my mind as I age, for a single minute from my past.

I'm grateful for the memories. I appreciate the experiences. But now it's time to create space for more fulfilling ventures. 

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