Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happiness is a Warm Gun (Bang Bang Shoot Shoot)

I feel like there's been a lot of chatter among my blogging friends about happiness lately. Maybe I should capitalize that... Happiness. Maybe it's a generation thing, but sometimes I feel like there's a dark vein of discontent running through my peer group. So many of us feel like there is something seriously lacking in our lives and without it we really cannot be happy.

I don't understand that.

Ok, I do understand the discontent. I am often very frustrated with the place my path in life has lead me. I could easily say that I was dealt a difficult hand to play. Circumstances, many of which were beyond my control, many of which were not, built up and have left me in a less than ideal situation. I'm honestly not super happy with where I am right now. But I'm working on it. I'm slowly changing my circumstances. I'm discontent and frustrated with things right now, but I'm not unhappy.

I don't really have a feeling that something is lacking. Occasionally I get all lonely and sad about my serious lack of romantic involvement. Who doesn't want love in their life? But I don't have a life without love. My family is wonderful and supportive, and they love me unconditionally. My friends are wonderful and supportive... I don't know if they love me unconditionally, but I do know they love me and are there for me when I need them. The kind of deep, empathetic, personal support you get from a partner, I can find in my friends. Yes, I would like to meet someone special. But my life is no less complete without him.

I guess that's part of my point. How can anyone expect to be content with life if they aren't content with themselves? If your happiness is dependent on something that you feel is lacking, chances are you will never be happy. Once you get that thing you think is missing, you'll find that it doesn't actually fill the hole you think you have. Something will always be "lacking."

I wish I could teach people to be independently whole. What I mean is, I wish people could understand that they are not actually "lacking" anything. There is nothing "lacking" in their life. Whatever it is they need to find Happiness, they already have. Happiness cannot be rooted in materiality, it cannot be external. There is nothing you need to be happy more than the decision to be happy.

Yes, Happiness can absolutely be as simple as a decision. Except I shouldn't say that it's necessarily simple. To be happy, you have to really truly decide to be happy and that's so much harder to do than it sounds. I think anyone can do it though.

And for the love of Baby Dinosaur Jesus, don't just sit around and complain. If there is something in your life that you can't stand, change it. I'm not saying it will be easy, but if you really want to get rid of the crap that is making you miserable, you can do it. All it takes is a little determination and a little work. Ok... maybe a lot of determination and a lot of work.

But that is just the big picture. The big picture is important, but it is absolutely not everything. There is so much joy to be found in little things; tiny, fleeting moments that are gone before you even notice. But in those moments you can find such incredibly potent joy that.... All you have to do is be open to it. Let the beauty of life find you. Soon these moments build up and compound and grow.

Anyone who can say "I haven't been happy since ______" is doing it wrong. Anyone can be happy, really truly Happy. It just takes the right mind set. Stop dwelling on what's bad. Notice what is beautiful and good. I have never gone a day without finding something to smile about. Even if it's something really stupid and small.

I don't think I've really said everything right. It's 1:30 in the a.m. and I should really be sleeping. I just had all these thoughts going through my head (prompted, no doubt, by my catching up on the blogs I've failed to read for a while) about... well about what I've been blogging about up there. Sorry if it doesn't really make sense. I'm not going back to proof-read or edit or anything. But I am going to leave you with two bits of awesome that are kind of related to what I'm talking about:

Jeremy's post about what it means to be a true optimist.

If you're having a hard time trying to find something to smile about try one of these: 1,000 awesome things.


Aly said...

I loved this! I completely understand your sentiments; sometimes I am not BURSTING AT THE SEAMS happy, but I love my life. A lot. I don't often feel like I'm lacking love; alone in a foreign country, sure, sometimes I feel REALLY, INCREDIBLY alone. But then I remember how many people I have found here (and at home) that are here for me. People that I love, and that love me.
Beyond all that, there is so much to be happy about in the world. How beautiful is sunshine? What about rainy days where you can just enjoy the calm? All that is Happiness. It seems to me that some people are afraid to be happy, and that isn't a great place to live.

Cassie The Great said...

I'm so glad I made sense to you, Aly! I was half afraid my 1 a.m. ramblings would be lost on everyone. Thanks for reading.

My name is Arrakis. said...

I really understood your post to. I really am very happy. I love my life, I just don't love where it is at right now (i.e. the MAJOR life changes coming up). I really have to thank you for helping me find the "Me" in me BTW. Thank you. I really think finding out who you really are before finding your "other half"* makes all the difference and I have no question about who I am. Just what I'm supposed to be doing.

*(I really seem to like punctuation tonight...)

Cassie The Great said...

You're welcome! I should hire myself out as a "Me" hunter. You can be my reference. I'm glad you know who you are you're working to making your life better.