Happiness will elude you until you realize that the only way to truly find it is to quit looking for it.
Everyone feels it, at least every once in a while. The feeling of solitude. That feeling that you are all alone in this world can take over your life no matter how many people you surround yourself with. Sometimes it makes you want to run, sometimes it makes you want to hide and other times it makes you question the meaning of life.
There is no worse a feeling than being let down by a person who means something to you. Someone who you trusted with your emotional well being, who has let you down or fallen short of your expectations, maybe you are the one who regularly does the letting down so you don’t understand the pain you leave in your wake but nothing hurts more than the disappointment brought on by the people we care about most.
Sometimes it doesn’t even take someone else to let you down. We are often the worst offenders in our own emotional roller coasters. We build our world up in our heads like other people in the world give a fuck about us more than we care about ourselves.
We then get disappointed when our expectations of others leave us feeling like a used condom in the waste basket of a philandering menace who only uses us for their situational gratification.
We rely on the company and commitment of others as if the only way we can find happiness is to be surrounded by others who seem to be more happy than us. How often we pretend to live in a world where our problems are the only problems, expecting that the people around us care about what is truly happening inside our heads. Like our world is the only world and to find fulfillment means to surround yourself with other people who are willing to set their life on pause with the sole intention of making you feel better about yours.
Shame on us!
Who are we to put that much control in the hands of the people around us. Why should our happiness be the responsibility of anyone other than ourselves. Why would we pretend that anyone else around us cares even a bit about the true pain inside us when in reality they are working just as hard to keep their inner pain from being exposed to the world. Trying to refrain from betraying the fact that they are weaker than they admit and that in reality they are as dependent on us to be strong as we are on them.
So we run.
Some people run to alcohol or drugs, others run to another state. Either way, whether emotional or physical, people try to distance themselves from the pain of facing the fact that happiness is an individual quest. It is not something that others can give you or something that happens because you wish it. Happiness is not something that you can learn by watching others or something you can buy online. It is something you have to discover on your own, away from others, away from the clutter of following suit and fitting in.
No matter where you run or how far you bury yourself, happiness is something that remains elusive until you are willing to let it find you. Until you quit questing to find it in the company of others or looking for it in the folds of your wallet. It is something that will purposely elude and evade you until the time comes where you are closest to letting it pass you up all together.
It is in that state, when you have finally decided that you can be miserable no more that you might eventually find it. Not because you deserve it but because you have accepted that there is no other way to get it.
Great essay…..As someone who has countless hours talking to people at the end of their rope, I have a lot of experience discussing happiness, the ways to get it, and the things that prevent it. (real or imagined)
The bottom line is that “genuine”, happiness, is an inside job. And like all emotions, happiness is only temporary. Want to know the easiest way to become happy? Do something to make someone else happy. You want to smile, make someone else smile. Practice compassion. Rinse and repeat.
It’s a shame that the world says my happiness is tied directly to external objects and circumstance. The world be wrong. We’re taught to crave what we don’t have rather than appreciate what we do have.
Paul McCartney once said, “can’t buy me love”……I just need to remember and trust that.
You have mistake in your site: “Join The Converasation” (when writing this reply).
And I would like to add that for me great obstacle to happiness is some kind of shame I feel for feeling good about myself. I see so much people bragging, whining, moaning and bitching about everything that it is truly hard to stay positive and not to feely too greedy and too selfish because they don’t feel excited about their lives and I do feel. When I try to help them I get stuck into this loop even more and that shame of happiness is like a curse. Who am I to enjoy my life and enjoy learning, doing things and everything when I am constantly encouraged to keep watching a clock of my life tick by, tick by, tick by.
I would like to see your thoughts more on what it feels to be truly happy (so I could learn or incline it to myself), cause I admit that I lost somewhere between blah blah blah of clueless people.
As I said in this post, you must find yourself if you want to find happiness. You must find the happy version of you and then let it out for the whole world to see.
Here is an article you might like. It is right in line with this same topic.
But I don’t see one thing in your article. In real life there is a collision between whether you should just keep using affirmations ‘I am confident, I am being myself, I am happy’ or you should just pursue things you like and when life throws ‘I play hard’ at us we can just say ‘I play harder’, you could just write article on this. Whether ‘Fuck that softness, start living’ or ‘Accept yourself independently on what you do’.
My experience says that if you accept yourself and just lay in front of TV lazing around some part of me craves for adventure, and when I kill this lazy daemon I go and do fascinating stuff. And as I could conclude your article on super powers – stop thinking that exceptional life comes from being lucky, start creating all you see in every “lucky” person around you and become the one who creates it.
Don’t you think that most people are taught by society to aim for comfortable life which they don’t know how to value because they have got it not on their own mostly, but through ‘happy circumstances’ instead of busting your chops and living the most fulfilling version of life you could ever imagine. That comfort usually leaves us without guidance how to achieve stuff we would like to have cause it seems ‘just go to job, marry and have children, state will care for you’
For me happiness seems to come from the times I can honestly look back at something I did and say ‘that was fucking awesome’ and I still smile at all that times I fucked the softness, got mad and started using my potential.
Get mad — just like said there: https://yu.ac.kr/~bwlee/esc/baldwin.htm
Committed decision to become active instead of passive, becoming driver instead of passenger and actions taken lead to true happiness, not sitting on the couch and using affirmations of being ‘happy’ or watching reality distorting TV. But you could say anything, everyone has to find it on their own. Your articles is good way to push those hesitating people towards the better side of life, towards pure life instead of poor existence.
Great inspiring article. Almost describes the situation I’m in. “Nothing hurts more than the disappointment brought on by the people we care about most” – so true. So now I can see this situation from a different angle. Thanks for sharing.
Glad you liked it. This is an old article that I have been thinking about re-writing as I think the subject matter is good to be reminded of regularly.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been battling depression and you’ve made me realize there’s no one who can get me out of it other than myself. Very inspiring.
Ellen, comments like this make me so happy. I struggled with depression for so long and I won’t say I have beaten it but I have tamed it considerably.
I have crawled back from the edge of depression and devastation with an understanding of what it takes to be happy that makes every day that much more exciting.
I’m so glad this article hit home and please explore the rest of the blog. Lots of little gems like this.
I don’t know if you are the happiest person on Earth, but you can surely make every person who reads it HAPPY by your views and words. Much respect.
Sometimes I am happy and sometimes I not. I have given up seeking happiness though and instead I seek fulfillment and exploration. I quit focusing on the past and started enjoying the present.
Since I have made these choices, my path has been much happier and that is definitely a message to share.
Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Please keep writing such articles for the present you, like me. We need it. We get inspired and enriched. Doing a great job, man !
Thanks so much for the encouragement.
You’re the man. Thanks for the words.
You are the man. Thanks for reading.
You are so right. Thanks for giving me a few things to remember.
No problem. Thanks for reading!