How happy are we really? And, how happy are we meant to be?
There’s a lot of talk about finding our joy, or happiness, just now. We’re told to look for the good in the every day. We must seek it out, in case we forget what it looks like. Or in case we forget how to find it.
Which in itself can just add even more pressure. Am I happy enough? Am I meant to be this ludicrously smiley person all the time, and never get upset, scared or lonely? And if I’m not happy, will people think I’m miserable, and does that make me a bad person?
The truth is, none of us can be happy all the time. Of course we can’t. But that doesn’t mean we should put up with situations that are making us unhappy. Nor should we feel that we’ve got to settle.
What’s happy for you, isn’t for me
And it’s also good to remember that what happiness looks like to me, will be different for you. Our happiness thresholds aren’t set in stone either, and what made us happy yesterday, can bring up very different emotions today. Because it’s all about context.
Some of the simplest pleasures in life can make us the happiest we’ve ever been. Finding something that you thought was lost. Mastering something for yourself without having to rely on anyone else.
Waking up next to someone gently snoozing on the pillow next to yours can either be one of the best feelings, or the loneliest, for example. I’ve known both sides, with the same person. Again, it depends on context. There’s no one state or another that is the right fit for everyone. And what’s right for us today, may not be tomorrow.
And it’s not just the small things. Even the biggest achievements or successes can leave us feeling deflated. Years of effort and hard work, and yet we don’t feel any different or better for it.
Working towards something, assuming that it will bring us automatic happiness, is a sure way to cultivate more of the unhappiness.
But by being aware of what makes us truly happy – big thing or small – we can start to follow it, and seek it out.
We need to create our own definition of joy. No one can explain it to us, or tell us what we need to do.
So yes, go find your joy. But do it just for you, no one else,
Photo credit: Simon Maage via Unsplash.com