I've been thinking lately, about the happiness which can be found in learning to take things at face value, and appreciating them for what they really are, as opposed to building up unrealistic expectations for people and situations and therefore being left feeling disappointed, or cheated.
I mean, when I sit here in my bedroom and mull over my past experiences (as someone with an over-anxious brain like mine often does), I can't help but wonder how some of my experiences would have turned out, had I just appreciated someone or something for what they were at the time, rather than trying to mould that person or thing into what I expected them to be.
Happiness is a strange concept though - it's desired by all, achieved by some, but for the most part it's this existential ideology which has been theorised and contemplated throughout our history. What does being happy actually mean? How do we know if what we're feeling is true happiness, or if it's just a feeling that society expects us to feel, and so we convince ourselves out of our own will that we are happy, despite not being sure what happiness feels like?
It's definitely a baffling and mystifying, albeit appealing, notion, whichever way you look at it.
The one thing I'm pretty confident about is, we make our own happiness, whatever it means to us. I think I started to learn how to be happy, for example, when I learned it was ok to stop taking on other peoples' feelings and emotions, and just to make sure I was responsible for my own feelings and emotions. Taking on the emotionally-draining weight of the responsibility of how others feel and act is sure to impact on one's happiness.
It's okay to be selfish. I mean, I know the word 'selfish' brings about an array of negative connotations with it, but personally I think it's okay to be selfish sometimes. I think, above all else, there are some situations where being seflish is... necessary.
So, does selfishness equal happiness? I don't know. All I do know is that, maybe if we start learning to appreciate things for what they actually are and start learning to accept that sometimes things just have a natural ending point; rather than exhausting all our resources on striving to accord with societal expectations, people can take one step closer to feeling their own version of happy.
A Moodscope member.