When was the last time you were happy? I tried to calculate my answer some days ago, but first I had to confirm the accurate definition of the word. Once I realized that it had been awhile since I’ve felt the pangs of joyfulness or the blissfulness of being carefree, it was easy to conclude that my interpretation of contentment has been revised to include the peacefulness of a pained existence.
Basically, there’s no way to appreciate the “happy” moments without experiencing the darkness that never fades.
Around the time that social media was shaping up to be the shaker of our lives, there was the rapidly growing movement of life coaches, who were seizing their period of relevance to capitalize on the dreariness of a climate that showcased all the reasons why being “happy” would be the impossible feat.
The economic collapse had displaced seasoned workers who had been living “the dream” that suddenly disappeared without a trace. The uncertainty of those times, coupled with the fears of the unknown would make anyone entangled in the web of chaos, very unhappy with the prospect of forced reinvention without the guarantee of success.
Life coaches were quite busy back then, and rightfully so, when you consider the nationalized turmoil, and the profits that could be accumulated by selling exits for a way out of the terrifically bad episodes that are survivable if you can afford the well-packaged and high-priced bootcamp.
Of course now we have social media superstars who are able to provide glossy guidance that illustrates how you can live your #bestlife in ways that thwart the buzzkill of when shit happens and you’re forced to hide away until you’re back to #dope status.
Getting older is a tricky adjustment that doesn’t get any easier with each passing year that you gratifyingly embrace with the assurance of impending mortality, but the bonus rewards are wrapped in the self-awareness that dutifully translates matters of the heart.
Life coaches and lifestyle gurus are great, but the only way to unlock the secret to never-ending happiness is to live long enough to master the art of celebrating why life is an utter joke without the jabs of discomfort that keep us soberly content.
We learn about the relentless pursuit of the” joyous haven” very early in life. Almost as soon as we’re able to construct sentences, we are fed the importance of the fairytale ending that has to be supplied as proof of what we can expect when we blossom out of childhood.
We are taught to reject the mediocre options that lead to fruitless results because being alive means having everything you deserve without settling for what anything that isn’t glittered with gold.
And yes, when I was younger, my mood swings determined my ability or inability to function and outside of the struggle with lifelong depression, there was the commitment to drafting an ambitious plan that would lead me to the disposition that’s consistently free from strife.
Fast forward to the present, and I’m now comfortably snug in the status that goes against the grain of Insta-worthy offerings and their “influencers,” as it pertains to maturing into the league of mental flexibility, that mandates the codes of realism when assessing alternating temps.
You don’t have to sign up for newsletters or shell out hundreds via payment plans in order to be gifted the basics of an aging mind that alerts you to the benefits of disciplining your level of tolerance.
Pain is indeed gain when you finally realize that as challenging as the present may be, things are absolutely not going to get any easier when you configure the rapidly approaching life events that are both unavoidable and admittedly catastrophic.
Every notable phase of our lives is increasingly demanding and sometimes it feels like we unknowingly signed up for something that turned out to be the exact opposite of our desires.
I mean, how many of us would willingly embark on an adventure that will surely end without our approval and in ways we can’t predict?
But the blessing of being alive and well doesn’t have much to do with the literal translation, as much as it’s the proof that each passing day is the evidence of how human nature can be finessed to recognize the goodness in the midst of ongoing combat.
I became a much “happier” person when I stopped wanting to be happy.
The mystery was solved as I inched closer to the finish line, and began to understand the importance of accepting what can’t be changed while magnifying the things that are controllable.
There’s also the serenity that unfolds when you aren’t easily rattled by the trials and tribulations that never cease.
As you learn to expertly juggle actionable items without falling apart at the seams, you will be accustomed to the view of imperfection in ways that will elevate senses with the promise of continued spiritual growth if you’re up for it.
We didn’t come to this crazy world to remain sane for the duration of our stay because that would be the miracle reserved for the future of robots, who can systemically program emotions, accordingly.
This isn’t an attempt at romanticizing the privilege of insanity because there’s no contentment when you’re in a constant state of disorientation.
It’s really just the confession of an aging wanderer and former dreamer, who is now settling into the calming regimen of coasting through the daily turbulence that softens with practice.
It’s the overall understanding of how the better days are now, right at this moment, that’s layered with textures of life’s consequences.
There will be no end to the ups and downs that define what we will be when we figure out solutions that will provide relief that lasts long enough to prepare for the slew of incoming head-scratchers, that keep us occupied until we fight the last battle out of this world.
Until that day arrives, if seeing the next tomorrows requires extra fees — I say bring on the pain!
Clearly we can’t live without ’em.