‘Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may also reflect judgement by a person about their overall well-being‘ (Wikipedia)
Happiness is one of the few things all humans can agree on, i.e that it feels really good so we want more of it and if possible all the time please. It is safe to say that one of the few undeniable truths that exists in this world is that people will do absolutely anything if it could guarantee happiness.
The relationship we pray for, the job or the promotion we’re working late nights for, the weight loss we visualize, the apology we expect or the revenge we fantasize about- They all have this one thing in common: the belief that the having of it will make us happy or at least happi-er. And it actually does….. until it doesn’t anymore.
Look around your life right now: it is filled with things that at one time, were everything you wanted. From your phone, to your job or your partner – or even your latest trip .. They are things that at one point were a dream or a very strong desire that you weren’t sure you’d be able to have. You may have prayed for it, fantasized about it – and whatever you did: BOOM it’s here.
And it’s exciting when it first manifests. It’s like the best thing ever! You feel so accomplished, so complete ; you feel like God, the universe, angels or whoever is responsible for the ‘human life miracles department’ is the most generous, on-point creature in the history of Earth. You revel in this new thing; you take care of it, you appreciate it, you love it and secretly smile with gratitude whenever you realize it’s all yours.
Then, something happens. Maybe it’s the habit. Maybe it’s boredom. Maybe you just found something else that was shinier to focus on. And the one thing that used to bring you so much joy, so much happy becomes almost obsolete. It’s a given. It’s always there. It always does exactly what it’s supposed to do. You know it inside out – the spark is no longer there because it’s not really exciting anymore. What changed?
Absolutely nothing. It’s just boring when it’s predictable. We thrive on drama and excitement. We are addicted to the instinctive sensations uncertainty provides us and so we secretly revel in them. We don’t like to be called out for it though because it makes us seem unappreciative or difficult and dramatic… Only a true Diva can pull that off unabashedly ( Oh Mariah, lead us all!)
And thus it begins, the dissatisfaction, the ‘I want more-ness’, eventually we start sabotaging things so we can justify making space for the new shinier object of affection because when that one comes, we will be happy – for sure this time! And so until it does come around, life just has no color, no flavor… no oomph.
Seriously?! The one thing that could actually guarantee us peace of mind is the one thing we’re most conditional about – consistently !
We repeat the never ending cycle of ‘i’ll be happy when…’ even though we subconsciously know it’s bull just like the bull we used to tell our parents when we wanted something so badly we swore we would desintegrate and diiiiiieeeeeee without that New Kids On The Block bed cover ( that is now buried deep down in the ‘it never happened ‘ pile of our emotional prepubescent decisions list ) –
Except that , unlike our parents, this isn’t about life doing us a favor giving in to our tantrums, there’s no safety cushion and you won’t know better when you grow up. You’ve grown, this is your shot and the outcome will be equal to what you put in. And so, if your happiness is conditional – you might as well embrace the fact that you’ll spend most of your life unhappy. Not because you can’t get what you want, you absolutely can – but it’s not the point which is why getting ‘ the thing’ only satisfy you for a short while.
The greatest plot twist of life I have found, is the fact that being detached from the outcome is when things just seem to work out and appear exactly when you need them, as opposed to the time you desperately needed something to work out and it just didn’t. In acceptance of that, it makes sense to live without expectation, without depending on anything specific, doesn’t it ?
It’s not always easy, especially if you’re ambitious and are specific of the direction you want your life to go. But even so, when you’re following that check list , when are you taking it in? When are you stopping for a moment to enjoy and integrate everything you’ve created in your life ? When are you living and I mean really living ? No checklist, no conditions, no specifics – just … living ?
If your happiness rests upon what you expect from something or someone, you’re stuck.
Give yourself a break, set yourself free- being conditionally happy is senseless because happiness is an inside job anyway. Thus, nothing external will ever EVER do the trick. The only condition has always been, and always will be : you.