There’s a common theme in many of the inspirational quotes I see floating around the internet. Typed in over a warm picture of an ocean sunset…”Do what makes you happy”, “You deserve to be happy”, and the cliché “be happy”.
Simple, right? Just do, just be.
The problem with this is that many of us think “yeah, that sounds right, I should be happy”. So, in a sense, a free pass is given. This pursuit of happiness justifies what we want to be doing at any moment. Thinking of your happiness turns out to be glorified selfishness.
You know what makes me happy?? Binge watching Netflix and cinnamon rolls.
By resolving to just ‘be happy’ pretty much translates to whatever makes us numb. There are the common ones: just one more pair of shoes, just a few more drinks, or just a different relationship. Then there are the ones masked in success: just one more promotion, just one more adventure, or just a few more followers.
These things may not be bad in themselves. It’s really anything we use to distract us from actually dealing with our insides.
It’s no secret we live in a time where instant gratification is the norm. I got a new phone because my old one got slow. Now it’s taking ‘too long’ to learn my new phone…which is equally as frustrating.
I was happy when I got my phone. A day later, I was not.
Clearly, happiness shouldn’t be what we strive for here. The goal will not be attained. It’s a hard habit to break, a never ending merry-go-round.
What we need to be going after is wholeness.
No one can just “be whole”, but we all deserve it. Becoming whole means we work on things broken, things that are damaged. From my experience, it gets worse before it gets better. Digging into yourself is not happy. It’s cleaning out wounds before they can heal.
But the freedom that comes from the work, the time, the tears…is absolutely breathtaking. You get to know yourself, in turn, you can call out what isn’t actually serving you and leave it behind.
Which, ironically, results in happy.
Take care, you.