Life is full of moments that bring us fleeting joy and feelings of happiness. Yet, these teasing feelings of what feels like happiness, leave us feeling empty. We say to ourselves: “If I could just be there, I would be happy.” “If I could just do this, I would be happy.” “If my body could look like this, I would be happy.” “If this person could love me, I would be happy.” “If I could experience that, I would be happy.”
Everyone has goals, dreams, and hopes, but what are we willing to do to get to the said point of “happiness”?
How many people are we going to hurt? How many times are we going to hurt ourselves? Is hurting other people and ourselves inevitable in order to grow? How could true happiness manifest itself?
Lately, I’ve been feeling quite perplexed. I’m in this weird transitional phase of life, and I’m not quite sure how to navigate it at the moment. For the last two years, life unfolded in ways I couldn’t have planned. I graduated from high school, decided I didn’t want to hop right into college, lost myself in an identity I thought was an answer but proved to be a stepping stone for a drastic change in life, stayed working for Aldi, met lots of influencing people and never intentionally chose any of this. Life grabbed me by the throat and said, “We’re going for a ride!” but now feel unsure of where I got off at.
I’m physically and mentally healthy, my job is steady, my family life is stable, I’ve been seeing more of my friends, nothing is really hindering my current “happiness,” but I don’t quite feel content where I’m at. If I was living truly in the present, I would have no reason to be feeling this way. For some reason though, my mind has been preoccupied with thoughts of the future. “What am I doing?” “What would be best for my future?” “What will make me happy?” These questions circle in my mind, bouncing off one another with possibilities and scenarios, to no absolute resolution.
Don’t ask if I’m happy, you know that I’m not
But at best I can say I’m not sad
-Lana Del Rey
A lot of these thoughts and feelings were stirred up today with two, awesome women I spent the morning with. I met them in Aldi, and they invited me over to “hear my story” (what I cool way to invite someone over, I think). One of my favorite parts of my job is all the people I’ve met and continue to meet and truly believe each and every person has served a purpose in my journey. We three, pretty much strangers, shared our life stories and some philosophical outlooks. At some point in the conversation, one of them says something along the lines of: “When we are self-seeking for ourselves and our own pursuit of happiness, we don’t think of the path of destruction that comes with the self-seeking. If we’re hurting all these people in getting to what’s supposed to make us happy, then is that even real?” It’s kind of mind-blowing when people who really get it share things that you haven’t actually realized.
I love hearing other people’s life stories and journey’s as it continually helps me figure out mine. Seeing these two beautifully minded women in places in their lives that neither had expected to be right now, yet thriving, brings different realizations in my own current plight.
I think to several times in my life where I’m in my stride to finding happiness, and whether or not there were casualties in my quest. While there were people in my life I hurt in trying to be happy, the biggest person I hurt was myself. I was the one who was dealing with the repercussions of my decisions and I had to realize that everything that I had sacrificed to achieve this happiness was for nothing. I was empty, more lost than I was, and overall unhappy. In this past year of reflecting and trying to “find myself,” I’ve still led a path that has hurt some people, still including myself. Why is it that we can perpetually hurt ourselves and others while being completely aware of what we’re doing? Does that make me a sociopath, a narcissist, or just human? I have and continue to put myself in situations in an attempt to be “happy,” even though I know it’s fleeting and hurting different people.
However, these self-seeking decisions are important to all of our paths. With this hurt, failure, or selfishness, there is ground-breaking growth. We have to get to this vulnerable, raw piece of ourselves to truly see this part of us we’re masking in trying to find what we think we’re looking for. So I ask myself, “Am I fearing beginning or ending something in my life for happiness because of the change, pain, or revelation that may follow?” The answer is yes. What I went through last year changed my whole life, but for the better. What if I go down another path that is completely toxic for myself and others around me? Or I make more decisions out of impulse and emotion, without rationale or logic? But then, what if I do nothing at all? I can remain in my content bubble of not sadness, but also not pure happiness. I can wait for life to grab me by the throat again and just go with it, or I can be the one to grab life by the throat and say, “YOUR TURN!” Knowing pain and hurt is almost inevitable makes it scary to want to try to find what we’re looking for. Especially when there is no guarantee that what you’re looking for is what you’re going to get. Sometimes you’re going to have to hurt other people when getting to the end result that may ultimately benefit you and the person(s) in ways you couldn’t have imagined. The place you end up is not the one you had envisioned or planned for, but it’s the one that your decisions and hurt have led you to. This is what will bring you true happiness, and there was no way you could’ve ever known.
Perhaps the happiness we’re all searching for is just a facade, or perhaps you just have to go through some shit to truly realize and find it. I’m 20 years old, and despite feeling like a 76-year-old woman in the mind, I know I still have A LOT of learning to do and a lot of things to figure out about myself. I know I’m going to hurt more people and myself along the road. Being conscious about this I can make efforts to try not to, but in the end, isn’t this what being human is all about? Fucking up and somehow coming out on the other side a more deepened version of yourself? Who really knows.
We’re 24 days into the New Year, and I’m in no current place to make a drastic decision to “better” my life or state of happiness. I have a few options and possibilities I’m pondering, but fear is what holds me back. I don’t have any strong pulls in my life right now that make me think, “If I do X, I will be happy.” I suppose that’s a good thing because none of us know what will truly bring us happiness. That’s for the universe to know, and us to find out. For now, I will continue to absorb, reflect, and make an effort to consciously learn from the actions I’m doing currently and see where it takes me.
Where are you at in life your currently?
Have you reached a point of true happiness; and what did it take to get there?
Are you currently in search of your own happiness, and are potentially hurting other people?
Open discussion for any and everything pertaining to happiness!
Until next time,