Why do we do what we do?
We just want to be happy.
Happiness comes in all packs and sizes. My happy isn’t necessarily your happy. It comes in all shapes and forms. There are things which give us momentary happiness, others which create a permanent form of joy in our lives.
Happiness changes throughout the years. Is what made you happy ten years ago the same as what makes you happy today?
In my case, no. Thinking about it, my achievement of happiness ten years ago was more about the superficial than what I have found out to be more real and authentic. Happiness was more about doing what was expected of me, of adhering to certain schools of thought which did not necessarily reflect who I truly was. Acceptance played a huge part of what I thought being happy was all about.
Having the perfect hair, the right pair of shoes, saying the right things and doing what everyone else did. Acceptance and conformity led to a false sense of happiness. Because there is only so much happiness to achieve when you are not true to yourself.
Happiness was about the temporary. Of going to the right places and reading the right books. Of being accepted by people who, looking back, were probably more insecure about themselves than I was. That silly feeling of being accepted, of having made it? That’s what I’m talking about. Of feeling happy about something so trivial as someone accepting you for what you show them to be. Not what you truly are.
As if the important people in your life don’t love and accept you for who you really are.
Were you ever in someone’s presence, and they would say something outright, something so direct some people perceived it as shocking? They would be doing nothing except speaking their mind and expressing their thoughts. I remember meeting such people, hearing them talk and whilst I never told them anything, I would be secretly envious of their direct talk. No frills, no bull, just their truth.
And I started realizing that those truly true to themselves were happy. You sense a person’s happiness not necessarily by their laughs, their smiles or words. Most of the times, a person just shines. It’s that sort of aura that they have around them which makes you stop and look at them and smile. You sense their happiness, their joy in the simplicity of things, their lack of fear of being true to themselves.
So I tried to make that my mission, and am still trying so hard at it every single day. I try to stop adhering to what people want or expect of me, I seize the day and live the moment. If it makes me happy I do it. If it makes me stop and think, or worry, I just don’t. I owe no one any sort of explanations.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I still get ridiculously happy when I buy something which I have really wanted for a long time. I still like having sleek hair, only now I do not really worry about messing it up. And as for heels, what are those exactly? I love the light and the frivolous but I am learning to give it only so much importance. I am constantly teaching myself that pure happiness goes beyond that.
What I have found to give me great pleasure are conversations with friends. Long, stimulating chats about new books we have read, issues the country or the world is dealing with, and even some funny news which is doing the rounds. I love waking up so so early in the morning to train and see my friends and share a short chat, a quick smile and a hidden joke. Happiness is entering into the bookshop everytime I pass it, even though I know they can’t possibly have new books every single time I go in. I feel I have achieved something when the girls do or say something which makes me proud, even if it’s just a simple ‘please’ or ‘thank-you’. I feel happy trying new things which previously scared me. And one of the most satisfying and great pleasures I feel is when I realize that I may be getting older, but I feel wiser too. I know what I want and I no longer hold myself back in achieving it. The sense of freedom age brings with it is refreshing. Not owing anyone any explanation is liberating.
Happiness often comes after a great heartbreak. When you have your feelings crushed and your heart broken by people who were once in your life, you slowly start to feel yourself being freed from their weighted presence, and slowly start to emerge as a freer being. It is a slow process, and quite painful, but suddenly a day will arrive and you will find yourself smiling again, rejoicing in small pleasures and you will feel you have arrived at a special place in your life where the simple and the little give you the greatest joy.
So whatever gives me happiness, I go for it. We have to trust our instincts more. We all know deep down inside of us, what is good for us and what not. And at the end of the day it’s our life, and a ridiculously short one at that, so why not spend it happily, doing what you want, surrounded with the people you want in your life?
I try so hard in following this. I am learning to say “no” when I know that a “yes” won’t benefit me. I choose the people in my life very carefully. I just want peace, happiness and love.
Shape your perspective, follow your chosen path and always strive for the simple yet happy moments.