The Complexity of Happiness

I’ve started thinking that maybe everything isn’t as simple as we see it and that there’s a grander complexity to being happy and understanding yourself completely. The fact of the matter is that we all search for that feeling of life’s completion. That feeling that we’ve done everything we needed and wanted to do. So when we reach life’s end there’s no sense of regret but most of us never or haven’t gotten to that point.

“Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it? Do you realize you’ve lived nearly half the time you have to live already?”- Ernest Hemingway, the Sun Also Rises

We sit in isolation looking at those who go out and grab the world, those that are so unafraid to throw their hands in the air and say “That’s life and tomorrow I will do better!” As Hemingway says in the sun rises, we let our lives pass by and in those empty moments we hope for happiness. We are so unaware that it’s within letting go and being alive in every moment we reach a higher self-awareness and deeper enrichment.

It is easy to say we desire to be completely happy. For me, I just simply wished to feel content but to reach that peak of peacefulness and untethered joy was like climbing Mount Everest with a boulder attached to my back. It felt impossible because of the anxiety that vexed me. Is that not the thing about life a constants cycle of situations threaded together that creates a story? My story was and still is one of a detail orientated being on the edge of anxious thoughts about life so afraid to live within the moments.

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“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”- Amit Ray says in Om Chanting and Meditation.  I read these words on repeat in some way hoping to absorb this quote and turning it into my life’s mantra. It’s so simple but is it an easy task? I believe for it to have been truly genuine my repetition wouldn’t have worked. I can tell you that it takes time and a lot of patience with yourself.

I would have never imagined the sense of self-worth and self-respect that emerged within me for myself. It’s easy to be distracted by the world and never check in with ourselves or to always be surrounded by so many people and be completely unhappy and empty on the inside because that’s the truth of life. We are constantly conforming to our environment or are in this rat race forgetting about the mind that resides within us. As Rita Mae Brown says, the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself. Taking a step away from the idea of having to live like others and chase happiness down made me realize just how much I had changed into something unrecognizable.

We have to be able to be okay with ourselves to cut those demons within down so that the sunlight can actually be felt through and through. I draw this from my favourite  quote by the great classic William Shakespeare:
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Knowing yourself and living is where you will find happiness. Happiness isn’t this thing that has to be chased down it’s alive and lives in the moments you are so unaware.

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” ~ Albert Camus

 

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