You Don’t Need to Be Happy
Happiness is important, but letting go of it might be life-changing.
Maybe you’ve chased happiness for so long you can’t even remember a time when you weren’t trying to be happy.
I know that’s my story at least.
But when I think about it, the thing I love most about life isn’t happiness, exactly. It’s the feeling that I have lived.
When I think about it, my 32 years is such an infinitesimal amount of time, in the grand scheme of the evolution.
In the lifespan of the universe, 32 years is less than a split second. It approaches so closely to zero, it practically is zero.
Yet in that practically-zero amount of time, I have had millions of thoughts and feelings, and thousands of experiences. It doesn’t even matter whether those thoughts or feelings were negative or positive; not when you’ve lived so much. Not when you feel this way about life.
I can look back on my years from age 15 to 28, the era where I was depressed, addicted, and isolated, and I can feel okay about it. Honestly. Because that represented a time when I lived.
The moments of happiness that I have experienced have been when I wasn’t looking for happiness at all. It happened when I was simply involved in my life, feeling my life.
So what I really love most about life is feeling alive. And you don’t need to be a perfectly happy person to feel alive. You can feel alive doing just about anything, even when you’re wallowing in a pit of despair.
There’s beauty in that too.
Happiness wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for sadness and despair. Happiness, just like sadness, are all relative to each other.
This is why what I love most about life isn’t necessarily the sunsets and vacations and champagne (though I certainly love those things too). What I truly love most about life is that I even get even experience this life, my life.
And you get to experience your life, separate but inexplicably intertwined with mine.
You and I were born on planet earth, and the fact that we exist at all is an insane feat. Nothing more, nothing less. Negative or positive, we have lived and that is enough.
Maybe, just maybe, if we let go of this obsession with happiness, we will actually be happy. Maybe the nature of happiness is such that it only happens when you’re not trying so hard to get it.