Sunday, 16 April 2017

300 Words a Day - #14 - Wavering Happiness

On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy would you say you are?

I detest that question.

Answer too low and memories of happy times come back in abundance, making us feel we’re being unfair to ourselves and are ungrateful for what has been.

Answer too high and memories of the not-so-happy times rush forward to haunt us, making us feel we’re being unrealistic and inauthentic. 

Over the past 20-30 years there has been an explosion of books, promising us ways to obtain unwavering happiness.

If we read them and still don’t feel happy, then we try another one. If that one fails, we end up thinking something is the matter with us. 

We’re not doing it right.  

We’re not trying hard enough.

But all along the fault exists in the books.

They’re offering us something that doesn’t exist…

Unwavering happiness.

It doesn’t exist - at least in this world of polarities it doesn’t.

I read recently that the Dalai Lama, when asked if he experiences stress, answered that not only does he experience stress, but he also experiences anxiety.

Wavering happiness.

For me - and I know I risk the chance of coming across negative here, but hey, we’re being realistic - for me, happiness stopped being my goal a long time ago.

It’s funny, because many people think I’m a happy person, yet I don’t consider myself a happy person at all.

I consider myself to be content.

Contentment is safer. 

In my eyes it’s more mature. It’s happiness without the clown and the giraffe-shaped balloons.

It’s an inner-knowing that all is well, and when things don’t appear to be going well…

…then the comedown from contentment isn’t that dramatic and you know the climb back to that sweet spot of contentment isn’t that difficult to reach.



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  1. some time ago I opted for use of the word "joy" in lieu of happy. Don't know why, but it just jumped out at me. In this case, the question, "How joyful would you say you are?" is a more immediate issue, not a long contemplative issue, for me. I am sure there is way more to this, but I am good.

    1. Thank you for your comment. It's strange, isn't it, how we get caught up with certain words, how words that point to similar emotions can actually bring up different emotions within us. I agree, joy is more immediate. That's how it feels to me. Maybe we've grown numb to the word happiness because of it being abused by the media, the movies, TV, songs, books etc.