The choice of happiness

old-man

There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.

Buddha quote

 

It is hard to be happy. Sometimes I wonder if it is even a choice for some people. For some people, happiness is probably something that comes every once in a long while, like a harvest moon or a four leafed clover. I have talked to people who cannot even remember the last time they felt good, safe or felt things were going to be okay. Some people live out this life like it is a prison sentence, a lot of people are suffering alone, keeping their demons to themselves.   Some people are conditioned to keep their pain quiet, and their reasons are many.

I have a friend named Jake (not his real name), and he is probably one of the loneliest souls I ever met. He goes to work, and then comes home to watch television alone. He is going on 40 and has never had a real relationship, he will occasionally have a small fling, but rarely anything that lasts longer than a couple weeks. When he does muster the energy, he would go out to the bars and look for people to talk too, but then he would quickly run out of energy, and retreat home. When I asked him why he does not go out more, he tells me he is tired of being rejected.

So I am sure what ails him is more than just a negative attitude, but a complex web of genetics, chemical imbalances, socioeconomic factors and other things. He has the same attitude when it comes to getting help, he will begin the process, but then quickly run out of energy and optimism.   Or he will get help from the wrong people, making the situation even worse, causing him more anger and sadness, pushing him down further then he was before. So he then retreats into the dark recesses of his mind, going deeper into the void of his life, losing whatever inertia he had.

So I asked him what would make him happy, he shrugged his shoulders and then told me that if he had a girlfriend who loved him, and that he loved back. I then asked him, even if he was able to achieve that, would that truly bring him happiness? He gloomily looked at me and said, “dude, I really don’t know.”   So I then asked him, what if you just chose to be happy? He looked at me like I was crazy, and I guess I don’t blame him, because it seems we are always looking for outside circumstances or things to make us happy. But what if we just chose to be happy in the moment, no matter what the moment was?

My friend of course needed help to see that it was a choice. That is what my main goal is to do with this website. To have people receive help right on the spot, through certified counselors either it be one on one, or through a group chat. It is through support we get through pain. It is knowing that we are not alone, that gets us over the hump.   This though, is a blog for another day, I will be writing about it soon.

I am guilty of course of not choosing to be happy in the moment. I think that once I get that car, or that job, or have the respect I always wanted from the community, then happiness and satisfaction will inevitably be mine. I then realized though, this was a fallacy in my thinking, because once I achieved one thing, something else would pop up, something that I felt I needed, and I soon understood that the process would never end. I would always be looking to the future for my happiness, but the problem with the future is that it is always in the future, and I would forever only be in the present. So, why not just choose to be happy now? To not let the outside world influence my decision, just to say, hey, I choose to be happy, and then let myself be happy.   It really is a choice, we have just been conditioned not to think that way. If we were satisfied with just happiness, the capitalistic society would crash, because we would stop buying things we didn’t need.

I really would like to hear what you think, write back and tell me your thoughts.

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