Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happiness deferred

I've been thinking about this topic for a while. Why is it that we choose to believe we can only be happy when certain parameters are met? Why can't we choose to embrace happiness each day? I myself am guilty of this type of thinking. I thought hapiness involved earning a master's degree, landing my dream job, living in an upscale community, publishing my book(s), developing a romantic relationship, and the eradication of all forms of hatred. I've accomplished some of my goals, while others are still in-progress. What I've learned is that happiness is an INTRINSIC quality. It has nothing to do with possessions, relationships, money, education, or anything else we can think of. Our accomplishments should not define us; rather, they should add to our existing joy. Further, in the absence of accomplishments and possessions, the peace and joy we feel should not be diminished at all.

Think of all the opportunities we miss because we are not in the place we want to be. Come to think of it, who's to say that our expectations will be met once we arrive or "make it?" I have met countless people who are deferring their happiness for a plethora of reasons: they don't make enough money, they are unemployed, they don't like their job(s), they don't like their geographic location, they are in unhealthy relationships, they are not in relationships, they are upset about past events, they are overweight/underweight, they have not made sufficient progress (i.e. education), they are addicted to drugs/food/sex, they are unhappy with their physical appearance, and they lack mental clarity. The list could go on forever. Y'all get the idea.

When I hear a person say they cannot be happy until they have accomplished ALL of their goals, it saddens me. It often takes a person years to become the whole, complete, integrated individual she/he is destined to become. Further, developing the ability to deal with setbacks and adversity is absolutely essentail to continued personal growth. A good friend of mine likened growth to the shedding process snakes endure. She said "Baby, that snake has to rub up against rocks, sticks, and all kind of sharp things. We don't see that. We only see the finished product." It makes perfect sense. Many of us are still walking around with dead skin attached to our bodies.

I encourage anyone who reads this blog to live FULLY. Take risks. Get knocked down. Pursue your dreams, so long as they are realistic. Share your experiences with others. Most of all, be PRESENT each and every day.


thegayte-keeper said...

for a long time I deferred my happiness until I realized that, people, places nor things could bring me the peace and joy I wanted...I had to find that within

Losojosnuevos said...

You got that right. Sounds like you found what you were looking for.