Do you ever wish you could be as happy as you’re supposed to be?
I was a reasonably happy kid until junior high school, then I lost my happiness and that made me sad. I went through my teens, twenties and most of my thirties thinking that there was something wrong with me simply because I wasn’t as happy as so many people around me. I carried a lot of guilt and shame because I could never be as positive and enthusiastic as the others.
One day, about nine years ago I was reading a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (I don’t remember which poem) and this notion dawned in my mind; I don’t have to be positive and joyful or enthusiastic in order to be happy. When I realized this, a burden was set down and I felt enveloped in an accepting hug.
As an adolescent I mistakenly picked up someone else’s measuring stick for happiness. My outward expressions of happiness did not amount to much when I measured myself on their stick. I forgot that I had my own happiness and my own way of expressing it. I tried to get what they had, because it looked better than what I had; they seemed like they were so much happier than me. I picked up this burden because I felt obligated to be positive, and enthusiastic. Most of the time I was able to put on a good act, but it was never a true expression of my happiness, and it felt insincere. I was neglecting my souls true happiness, ignoring part of my essence, and the result was melancholia.
In that moment, when I realized that I was happy without the outward expression of positive attitude or enthusiasm, that part of me which I had been neglecting embraced me and I moved a little closer to wholeness.
I find most of my happiness when I’m writing or when I’m playing music alone or fishing alone. My happiness resides in quiet moments when I discover new thoughts or ideas.
Where do you find your happiness?