This is a relatively new concept for me, not seeing happiness as the be-all and end-all achievement of life. I think a lot of us have been chasing it for a long time, not understanding that happiness, like any other emotion, is fluid. It will come and go. If we are always searching for it, we will never be satisfied.
And that’s what we’re really looking for, isn’t it? Satisfaction. Peace. Not happiness, necessarily. We can experience contentment and acceptance without needing to be happy all the time. In fact, it’s essential that we DON’T expect a state of constant joy if we want to move through life in a calm and balanced way, because we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
The simple truth is that life is never all good, all happy, all joyful. The reason so many of us experience frustration, discontent, and resentment is because we were sold this idea that we are supposed to find a state of continual euphoria and only then will we “succeed at life”. I’m not sure why we persist in this unreasonable mentality as we move through adulthood, but here we are. Our brains are programmed to believe that’s the truth and we have to reprogram them to reflect the reality of life.
The only way that we will ever find peace is to accept that feelings, including happiness, come and go. That the purpose of life is not to end up in a certain place but to enjoy the journey. That’s all that life is, right? A journey. We don’t know how long we have, so moving towards mindfulness and presence is our best bet for finding our balance and, at times, even our joy.
No, finding continual happiness is not the point – but developing a way to feel at peace and content no matter what happens in your life will definitely bring you more of it. You can discover purpose and fulfillment while still allowing yourself to feel all of your emotions, letting them ebb and flow as they naturally do.
Stop chasing this unreasonable idea of permanent joy. It’s not really a thing. You’ll never be satisfied. Learning to be content with what you have in the present moment, and then the next, and the next, is the true secret. If we can all do that, this world will be a kinder and better place. Turn inward. The answers lie inside you. Sending you love.