In this day and age, people seem obsessed with Happiness, whatever it means for them. Unfortunately, as I’ve observed, people’s perception of happiness is often very misguided, even media driven. Much like True Love, Happiness enjoys a cult following that will keep going after false images made by others. Even if it means ruining their futures chasing it. So, how do I see Happiness, and am I living a life of Contentment?
The misguided understandings
I once played a game that sums up the gruesomeness of what might come, should people run after faux Happiness. The game is called We Happy Few, and in it, people are mandated to take their Joy. It is a type of drug that makes the people living in the world perpetually happy, by force. If they do not take it, well, let’s just say that the kind officers of this peaceful, happy heaven are not above beating the living hell out of you in a back alley and tossing you outside the city walls.
The game’s world is based on burying a tragic past that the folk had to go through and forget entirely. Misery, anger, and sadness in general are not allowed within the civilized society of the fictional realm. And, much like in reality, once you burst someone’s bubble with your differing mentality, being off your Joy, they turn into savage beasts that would tear you to pieces if only you allow it.
Unfortunately, I see the majority of society going down the path of We Happy Few. We are slowly sliding down the slope of mandates and definitions of happiness that are not true.
What is true happiness?
For me, happiness is no longer a state of constant mania and giggling. It does not mean that I must keep overly polite, stay joyful, or declare how lovely the day is. Happiness, to me, seems to be the wrong word, the wrong terminology for what I need to truly be chasing. What is it then, that I’m running towards?
Well, my friends, I’m going toward contentment and acceptance. The thing about acceptance is that it is a very powerful thing when used properly. And unlike many seem to think, it doesn’t mean that I’ll be alright or approving of everything under the sun. However, accepting the reality of things is the key to walking forward with the frame that we have been bestowed. Bad things will happen. We don’t have a choice sometimes. Life is painful and an agonizing struggle.
Contentment can only come to us if we stop taking things for granted. If we stop running away from Life. It’s a magical thing when you find your place of peace within the storms that are rampaging around us perpetually. When you can walk the path, and see everything that you’ve experienced, accepting it and being thankful for it all. Yes, even the shitty bits that cling to your shoes when you took a bit of a tumble over the hurdle you tried to hop.
Why are people struggling?
I truly believe we all have the potential to change our lives for the better. The thing usually stopping us is ourselves, no matter what stories we are trying to tell to justify our misery. At some point, if things are bad enough, we are going to have to take the reigns of Destiny and yank it so hard that the poor creature’s neck breaks. And trust me, it does not want to have a cork-screw neck. And so, it fights back.
All the habits, traits, maladaptive patterns, and everything that has grown and that we’ve fed within ourselves during our lives will put up a magnificent fight to survive. It’s hard, excruciatingly hard to get out of mentalities like being the victim, oppressed, and used. A true heroic battle for the ages, it’s no wonder we are reluctant to do it. The enemy is, after all, ourselves. I hated it when I had to start doing it.
It meant going against the image that had been fed to me, and that I’d started to grow inside myself. Taking up arms against parts of me that had been deemed virtuous, by me and by others. And most of all, it meant looking into the Chaos of my mind and understanding that I was close to becoming engulfed in it. Thank heavens my בעלי helped me shatter that twisted world.
How can it be obtained?
Contentment requires sacrifice, a voluntary one, as per anything else worthy in the world. It means letting go of our misguided beliefs and personal truths and following the Cosmic Order of Life instead. It means that we must understand the frame in which we live, called humanity, and honor. Contentment will ask you to lay on the altar your cowardice, ego, and entitlement.
We must take it upon ourselves to cultivate our awareness, so that we may see the blessings we are given. Every day, every hour, and every minute of our lives. We are alive, and we need to be grateful that we have been given this opportunity to experience it all. Even the terrors and agony of it. Taking Life for granted is a dark thing to do, and so it will lead you deeper into the shadows. We are fragile, every breath is a gift.
While we must accept the inevitable pain that comes with our lives, it doesn’t mean joy doesn’t exist at all. The sun shines, somewhere anyway, even if in Finland it is at best questionable. We have this machine we call the body that can feel, taste, smell… We can perceive the world in such a marvelous way. The wonders of Life never seize, if only we are aware enough to see them. Contentment means showing gratitude for what we have, even when the shadows creep closer and the blessings become harder to spot.
Am I Content?
My life, by all means, has been abysmal. Not as bad as it has undoubtedly been for others on the planet, but dismal nonetheless. I’ve dwelled in the Shadows of Borderline Personality Disorder for the first decade of my adulthood. I’ve been tempted by the Angel of Self-destruction, and I have been neglected, abused, and used. Tossed aside like a dirty rag. And finally, after all of it, my world got shattered into a billion sharp pieces. It’s been quite rough, I must admit.
Yet, it is not over yet. Life will keep throwing me things that cut my fragile self-perception. I will keep facing the shadows and I will be at the mercy of the Cosmos. And eventually, I will pass, alone as the door opens for my final trip. The door that will have me dragged through should I not take that last step on my own.
Despite this all, I am content. From someone that has the tendency to be suicidal and self-harming, I’ve morphed into a person who realizes the gift I’ve been given. Every step I take has infinite potential. Even when Life has been devastating, it has granted me an abundance of blessings as well. I am grateful I can finally see them, and that I am on my way to an even greater future.
Last Updated: 22/05/2023