… is probably that nobody knows what it is.
We all have to find out for ourselves. Maybe because happiness – like wealth – is different for everyone. There are days when I have 50K in my account, but I feel broke because my debts are five times that. And there are days I find a random 50 bob in my jeans pocket and feel like a billionaire.
The year has just started, and I’ve found a new definition of happiness. For me, happiness is ‘feeling enough’. Because from a practical perspective, my life is awesome. I’ve ticked off a lot of my boxes and I’m doing good. I’ve even shed weight. It wasn’t on purpose, and the circumstances sucked, but shed weight is shed weight so yay! Now to keep it off … or maybe shift it around?
(I typed *lost* weight, then heard a random voice from my dalliance with Buddhism. A voice that said, “When you lose something you’ll find it again, so maybe don’t use that word for something … unless you want it back.”)
I think I’m a happy person. Because the silliest things make me giggle, I’m easily amused, and my brightness bubbles up like a child. But I’ve had lifelong cycles of anxiety/depression, which doesn’t quite fit with me being happy.
The past few days have been especially harsh. Lots of tears, lots of reflection, and finally, a realisation that all my dark days arise from feeling not-enough. I get into the space of fear and despair. I look at those around me and start to measure myself against them. And because the view is skewed, I fall short.
Result? I scramble to catch up, making dumb decisions out of fear. Or worse, I sink into a hole, feeling I’ll never catch up – why even try? I’m not good enough to be in the same lane, or even the same race. I’m just not worth the effort, or the time. It’s a scary place to be, and a life-defeating one. Literally.
Not-enough-ness frequently dumps me in a spiral and leaves me there. So I figure if I can keep my happiness self-contained, if I can convince myself I’m enough for me, then I’m good. And if the forces around me try to put me down, I’ll know I’m enough for *me* even if I’m not enough for them.
It’s easy to drown out unwanted voices. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Fiction. But when the unwanted voices come from the inside … and they know how to swim … things get a little tricky. So my task for the year is to shush that voice in my head, to talk back when it says I’m not enough. To look it in the eye, smile, and say, ‘Yes, I am. I’m enough for me. Even if I’m not enough for you.’
I don’t want to get angry though. Or mean. Or unkind. I don’t want my self-sourced happiness to be a weapon against the world. I don’t want to get so militant in my *happiness* that it turns into bile I readily splash at others. I want my happiness to be mine, and I want it to be all about me.
And when the darkness tempts me to take off the blind-fold and see what ‘others’ are doing, lures me into exploring the pantone of their grass, I can say nah, I’m good right here. It seems like such a simple thing in theory. I just don’t know how to make it … real. Luckily, I have this year to find out.
♫ Walk on Water ♫ Thirty Seconds to Mars ♫