Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Happiness is just a tear drop away. This was the way of being for perhaps most of us from "pre millenial generations." All that happiness stood for or all that could help us achieve a happy state of mind had to be earned. Toil or tear whichever was applicable or whichever came first depending on the stage of life we were in. We got what we deserved and needed. That's how most would remember our childhood and growing up from that era. I wonder where those days have gone or should I say those people have gone. It was a simple give and take. Give love, respect, consideration, help, time etc etc and get the same in return. "Input is equal to Output" theory. This was life and this is how it should always be. And sooner we teach our younger ones the better it is for them. In the last decade this emotion called happiness is keeping us on our toes and wide awake else we might miss it. Ignorance is no more bliss.
When did happiness become a goal and more importantly why? Is it a product which comes with a step-by-step manual and new versions being released for upgradation? Is it a service with long term AMCs (annual maintenance contracts) with renewable features? Is happiness a person or a destination? Is happiness key to success and peace or is it the other way around? What is happiness? Why is it so important for me to be happy always? Why has this single emotion in conjunction with another condition called peace/calmness taken precedence over all other emotions? These thoughts keep me awake. To compound the complexity of this matter we have plethora of 'self-help books' and even larger number of self appointed 'self-styled gurus' with specialization in different streams that constitutes happiness. Each of these 'self-helps' claim to be the best way possible to get what you want. They show the path and ask you to do as they say (not doing themselves on most occasions except a handful). Instead of resolving this concept they add in making it more complex and elusive. Its almost attained the status of being most desirable and mostly beyond reach.
After reading books, listening to pseudo emancipated, self actualized people and learned but not so sought after people called parents I have come to the conclusion that happiness cannot be bought, read, learnt, memorised, seen, experienced etc. We are basically born as happy people. That's how nature has created us. If we look around, everything which makes me happy is either within me or within my reach. It is not possible for any human being to be in a constant state of happiness. This has to be interspersed with different other emotions. Sometimes negatives too. When I look hard I see that life actually happens in between these emotions. If all emotions are plotted on a graph we would have continuous bell shape curves. Highs and lows. Waves. Beautiful ones. The only time we get a straight line on a graph is when we are dead. I am sure you must have seen in movie after movie that a straight line on a life support monitor is what pronounces the end of a character. Now we don't want that. Do we? So why this constant 24x7 bombarding of 'positive thoughts for the day' and thereby build an expectation that everyone should always be happy. No I don't want this. As an individual I would want to experience all emotions. I have the capability. I just need to build the capacity.
I have evolved as a being with higher intelligence after billions and billions of years of survival. Why should I deprive myself of the range that I am capable of experiencing? Its ok not to be happy on several occasions. Too much of anything is toxic. Both science and spirituality has proven this.
If I fail I need to stop looking for the positives in it. This is important otherwise where will the learning' come from? If I fall sick and experience pain I need to stop looking for the benefits. This is important otherwise where will the cure come from? If I don't succeed I need to stop looking for excuses to look good. This is important otherwise how will I know where to stop and think and drop and move on in most untoward situations? If I am betrayed and hurt by people I trusted and love I need to stop looking for excuses to forgive them. This is important otherwise how will I be able to distinguish genuine ones from the fakes in future. The answer my friend is blowing in the wind only if we take time to see and internalize. In order to earn happiness, somethings have to be given away. Life is a pursuit of happiness and it's perfectly ok if it comes as seasonal welcome showers and not necessarily as floods. All or none is not what happiness is all about.
The Fairy Godmother said to Fiona in Shrek -"Happiness is just a teardrop away." Not all lives are supposed to have a happily ever after ending. Not everyone can be a hero. Somebody has to sit on the pavement and clap as they go by. So be happy that you are not happy always !! It means life is happening to you.