Happiness. It’s an emotional situation we pursue with fervency. Wait, fervency actually is a word that exists? Phew. I wasn’t sure that fervent had that kind of variation. Sure, I could’ve looked it up… but eh, I like making up words. It’s fun.
In the United States, it is part of our government framework. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Happiness was so important that our founding fathers decided, “It must be part of the written documents that will determine a new nation’s governmental structure.”
On the other hand, you could argue that Buddhism sees the pursuit aspect of happiness as a gateway to suffering. The only way to be happy is to achieve nirvana, or to want nothing and be content in that moment. At least, that’s the way I always read Buddhism, in a very rudimentary way.
As I was adding a new category to tag this post, I accidentally placed “Happiness” under “Budgeting.” Whoops.
Anyway, I think it is sort of safe to argue that happiness is important to humanity. So what’s the secret to achieving that ultimate goal of humanity?
Well, I don’t think there is one way to get there. We all know at this point that I talk about how crucial decision-making is to life, and how our current state in life is determined by all the choices we made to get here. So, for me, happiness is making the decisions that make you go, “Ok, I like this. This is good.”
But what the fuck generates that feeling of contentment? Is it gut instinct? Is it a mental thing? What the hell is this feeling shit?
I personally believe it’s mindfulness. I believe it is embracing the self. It is understanding your emotions, accepting them for what they are, feeling them as you need, and acting in a way that gives you the freedom to let your emotional self roam the fields of subconsciousness.
Sounds like hippie crap, right? That idea is also bull shit. Sometimes, when you get in touch with these emotions, you come to find that there are some shitty fucking things in there. Jealousy, anger, hate, envy, overwhelming sadness, anxiety that creates the kind of immense fear that makes you want to run, depression.
It’s not always a fucking field of wildflowers and sunshine (By the way, you have to love the alliteration that “fucking field” provides. If not, I love it enough for both myself and you, the reader). You may find yourself starting in the eye of the hurricane, where everything seems fine… and then, the eye wall hits.
For those of you who don’t understand hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, it goes sort of like this. If you do, you can skip this paragraph, or read it, and remember that I am keeping it pretty simple. Basically, you have a giant, rotating mass of stormy weather, that generates a ridiculous amount of wind and energy. In a rather strong, well-organized hurricane, you often find a round clearing, called the eye. Typically, on one edge of this eye, you encounter the strongest part of the storm, called the eye wall. This is the spot where you normally find the strongest part of the storm.
That’s a rough explanation of how they work. I’m not a meteorologist, but I was obsessed with hurricane tracking as a child (seriously, quintessential nerd with no friends here), so I learned a hell of a lot about them.
It’s why I think it makes a good analogy for getting in touch with your emotions, though. Some people may think they are doing well once they try to initiate this process, only to discover that the storms roll in stronger than ever. You just have to ride them out. For the record, don’t ride out a real hurricane if you aren’t used to them and/or there’s a strong recommendation to evacuate. Overestimating the strength of your house can be the death of you.
Actually, that’s also a decent analogy. Don’t assume that you are too strong to break. Sometimes, you’re not. Also, it’s ok to break. Our emotions can be so hard to handle from time to time, and riding them out might be too tough. That’s when you evacuate the house and find somewhere else to be safe. Maybe that’s therapy, talking to a friend, anything that might help you weather the storm.
That’s an important lesson I’ve learned. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It means you’re strong enough to understand that not all storms are meant to be weathered alone.
I didn’t realize I could say so much about this topic. Maybe it’s because I’m living this process as we speak. I’m still in the hurricane of my own emotions. And being mindful of that process is great for me. It might help me join those damn hippies in their fields of flowers.
Ok, I doubt that. They’d kick my sarcastic ass out in a heartbeat.
With that, I am off to work for a few hours. Take care.