When we spend our life chasing happiness, we will realise at least one of two things:
- We are miserable in the pursuit
- If by chance we do get there, it is ephemeral
We are constantly told we deserve to be happy, that it is our right. And so, we pursue it. Much to our detriment. The problem with having happiness as a goal is that we get stuck in the trap that everything has to be good. We want to avoid suffering and pain because it is quite the opposite of the happiness we yearn.
Once upon a time, I thought it was important to be happy majority of the time. Consequently, I either had no insight into my worries, or later when I did notice it, I thought something was wrong with me. I also thought the sadness was unbearable and that I shouldn’t feel this way.
The reality is life is full of ups and downs. As much as we envision our lives taking either an upward path or even a straight path, it is just full of squiggles. Nothing goes as planned. Some things might go as we hoped. Sometimes, when we do attain that elusive happiness either through things such as ‘the most awesome job’ or ‘the perfect partner’, we only have to give it a little time before there is some kind of pain. The most awesome job will still have some workplace politics. The perfect partner is but a myth.
If happiness is the goal, then the minute there is pain and suffering, we are likely to give up as happiness is short-lived in these situations. We will look for that next job. We will get out of that relationship. We will keep chopping and changing things just to find happiness. And in the process, we never will.
Instead, what if we were to accept the pain and the suffering? What if we embraced the sadness or sat with the hurt and the worry? Sure, it would suck. But in the process, we would learn a lot about ourselves and the world. The paradoxical nature of acceptance is that it brings about change. Whether in the form of knowledge or in the form of contentment or perhaps even behaviour, it is still change.
So rather than chasing happiness, let’s start to accept the pain.
We will most likely find ourselves a whole lot more content.
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away.
Corinne from Everyday Gyaan and yours truly give you one writing prompts a week to blog about and link up every Friday. The link will be open till the Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
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The prompt for this week is Ephemeral. Use this word anywhere within your post.
Our prompt for next week, 8th September, is the phrase ‘Alone Together’ Put your thinking caps on and be prepared for next week!
Until next time,