“The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.” – David Levithan
I shouldn’t be angry right now. Anger and all of its negative energy is in direct conflict with this zen-love-guru attitude I’ve adopted lately. Really, I need to stop this right now.
Listen to your inner guide. Don’t let your ego and false perceptions get in the way of your miracle mind, I think. Take a deep breath.
“Oh, SHUT UP INNER GUIDE!”
I think I’ve turned a bit of a corner here.
Things have been a little on the shaky side these last few months. It’s been a mixed bag of good and bad with my emotions swaying from one extreme to another on a day-to-day basis. I chose to make a commitment to dig myself out of this perpetual rut by taking part in an intensely focused meditation-based program that could help ease me onto a brighter path, hopefully lined with daisies as I walk towards my dream life.
I’m realizing now that perpetual rut is perpetual for a reason. It’s especially true when you’re hacking away at the parts of yourself by engaging in daily battles within your mind to maintain that positive lift you’ve sworn yourself you’d have if you just tried harder or repeated the affirmations enough. They tell you to stop picking at scabs for a reason.
So, yeah, I’m pissed right now. When’s this happiness supposed to kick in? Where’s my so-called enlightenment? Why is this so damn HARD?!
There are two words I’ve been kicking around endlessly the past couple of months (and really, my entire adult life): happiness and love. I want it. All of it and all the time. And not just that, I want to understand what it really means for me. No, I NEED to understand the meaning. It’s at the center of all of this soul-searching and scab picking. What does it mean to be happy? How does it feel? How will I know what it looks like? And the biggie, when will I finally experience true happiness and love?
I’ve been all about the self-love and finding that fulfillment within and not without. It was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders when I finally let go of the expectation of love and what it said about me if I did or didn’t have it from others. My romantic history doesn’t have a whole lot of shine to it, and I admit that part of it stemmed from my lack of self-love. Now I’m enjoying a ride or two on the love train and looking at myself and my relationships with others much differently.
But I still beat myself down. Heck, I’m beating myself down as I’m typing this. You’re whining now, stop it. See!
Will the criticism just stop at some point? Does accepting love and giving love eventually allow you to just be in a constant state of love? How do you compensate for all of the other human emotions like anger or sadness?
My guru says that we are all love. That love did not create this fear or anger I’m spouting off now. But here’s a question: just what does that really mean anyway?
Then there’s happiness. The more I delve into the subject of happiness and what it’s meant throughout the entire history of humanity, the more I realize that this may just have to be something I let go. I enjoy intellectualizing it sometimes and looking into all manner of viewpoints on the subject but really it’s the experience of it that matters most.
I have an obsession with semantics. I believe that the way we use words lends them weight that we subconsciously graft onto them and that in turn can dramatically shift it’s meaning. What happiness means to me isn’t the same to my neighbor or my brother, or to you the reader.
Our environment has a lot to do with shaping our dreams whether we like it or not. Just think about the American dream and what our expectations are once we’ve made it through college: high-paying jobs, impressive career, cars, homes, and a beautiful family with a loving spouse.
And therein is my problem with everything. The source of my anger. The very heart of all the agony that this uncertainty has brought to me in every waking moment. The reconciliation of what I feel deep inside that I want for myself with what I think I should want. The impractical versus the practical if you will. I feel resentment that it gets tagged as impractical because it falls outside the framework of what’s considered normal.
So what if I want to spend my time reading texts analyzing happiness for a living (actually considering this) or quit my job without having another one lined up (yup that too) or volunteer or write my blog full-time or any number of things that don’t fall within the purview of what’s expected of me?? The trick here is, I have to believe my indignation has merit. I need to be righteous in that belief and ready to defend against the naysayers who argue that I’m just being a hippie with no real future because I can’t hold down a job like a real woman. Otherwise I’m just constantly blowing steam.
Really what I want most of all is to just feel good. No fancy new-agey stuff here about inner guides, -ings, or egos. Just the simple sensation that where I am is solid and real. That the time I’m spending with the one life I’ve been given is being spent well. I used to say that I didn’t think it was too much to ask, but I guess it’s not so simple.
“Pain is not a punishment. Pleasure is not a reward.” -Pema Chodron
I’m outside of the box right now trying to string pieces together and I find it funny that in some ways, I’m just as confused and uncertain as I was before I started this process. I have tools now that I didn’t have before, namely a new awareness of myself and those around me. With that awareness, however, I also have many more questions. I didn’t even think that was possible! I question everything much more and this all just seems so much scarier and more frustrating than I could have imagined.
One friend who’s on a similar journey said today that maybe it’d be better to just turn back and return to the way things used to be. At least we didn’t question things as much. I paused and then said that we’d just be exchanging one misery for another. This time I know where I’m coming from even if I have no idea where all of this is leading me.
6 Replies to “Come On Get Happy”
“…I’m just as confused and uncertain as I was before I started this process.” You are at least better off than before you started. Most people never evaluate their (usually negative) habits and just complain about being unhappy, but you’ve realized that YOU can change your life (instead of just letting life happen to you). You’ve embraced change and awareness and deserve to demand the most from your life, but it’s not easy and it won’t happen overnight. Just keep at it!
Thank you SO much April for your kind words and for the encouragement. I feel like I’m being spun in a washing machine. Any kind of encouragement or reminder that this is all worth it is appreciated. It’s so easy to get locked into a negative cycle, but its even worse when you’re suckerpunched by it right after I started feeling pretty good. Onward and upward!
You know, I really believe that if you were to find that blissful state of constant happiness, you wouldn’t know to appreciate it anymore. I recognize myself in some parts of your post, I’m going through similar stuff as well. I have found the positive in the agonizing as well, and believe me, having taken the decision of quitting my job and having to “defend” this has made me stronger. I still don’t know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I know it’ll never fit into the cookie cutter of what is considered “normal” by most people. I agree with April, you have taken the right step, a step that most people are either too afraid or ignorant to take. You’re a winner in that already, and that should be reward enough. 🙂 I hope you find your inner peace, but don’t let it make you too comfortable, that’s dangerous..
Thank you so much for the support and for your advice. I think that fear of what people will think if I choose to do the “unthinkable” (going without a job in favor of some serious soul-searching), is a big part of what’s making me feel so angry here. Yesterday was a bit of a breakdown. Spiking into anger gave me some insight that I can’t get too comfortable or expect that everything has an answer or that this process has an end. I told myself last week that there is no finish line. This is part of a whole and I need to embrace that as much as the good times. Hearing that other people are going through the same thing makes me feel better because then I realize I’m not alone. Kudos to you on taking the steps you’ve taken! I’ll meet you there one day. Wishing you inner peace. 🙂