Editor note: This is a guest post from Jennifer Smith from reachourdreams.
The goal to be happy is one of the things many of us strive for. Isn’t that what we now realise life is about, rather than more money, status and recognition? I too have strived for this goal many times; however I recently heard something that made me feel differently. I heard a popular celebrity say that he doesn’t strive to be happy; rather he strives to be content as happiness is not a naturally permanent state for human beings.
When I thought about this, it made a lot of sense. However much personal development we do, there is never going to be one day when we wake up and we are completely happy and then stay that way forever. That isn’t the nature of life or human beings. I am not saying life is necessarily ‘hard’ – I think we all have different world views, but the nature of life is impermanence. Things don’t stay the same and to some degree or another, human beings find that hard to handle. As well as all the great stuff about life, we will, face disappointments and challenges and one day die ourselves. I don’t say this to be morbid or depressing – but to highlight that it isn’t a natural state to be happy all the time and by facing up to those facts, there is a sense of freedom to be had.
In a way, even if we strive for nothing else, the very act of realising we are not wired to be happy all the time, takes the pressure off. It brings a sense of acceptance and peace with it. Growing up I used to think I should be happy all the time. No one specifically told me that’s how I should be, but I think we all sense that pressure from society to be happy, successful etc is good and being depressed, down or whatever isn’t what people want to hear about. Then when you look at it on the other hand we are all craving authenticity. When someone says it how it really is, it strikes a cord. No wonder we are confused!
Acceptance is key
What you resist persists
Accepting rather than resisting has the power to transform us. Resisting unhappiness or thinking we should be another way to the way we are now, keeps that feeling going. Learning to embrace ALL our feelings positive helps us move forward. Actually there is no such thing as “positive” or “negative” feelings, just what we label them. Any feeling we have is feedback to us and has a message. Feeling depressed? Have a look at why. It may be some valuable information that you can use.
I love being happy! It feels great and I am not knocking it. However I don’t think it is something we can or maybe would even want to sustain every minute of the day. I think we need to learn to listen to our heart and our own experiences and accept ourselves and life in all its glory.
So what do you think?
Stop trying to be happy