Someone asked me recently, “What’s the point of pursuing happiness?”
The answer seemed so obvious to me that in the moment I had no response. My thought was something along the lines of, “Why would anyone not want to feel good as much as possible and be happier?”
Our two perspectives really gets to the key point. Being happy is a choice. Each person has the freedom to decide where they are going to fall along the wide spectrum of emotions and reactions to every single situation and subject. That’s our free will.
But it took me a long time to realize that I had a choice about being happy or not; that I had the ability—and responsibility—to direct the quality of my life. For too long I felt I was at the whim of an unfeeling and uncaring Universe that liked to batter me against the rocks. The world was against me and I couldn’t get a break.
That perspective was so painful that I suffered from chronic depression for many, many years. As a result, I’ve had enough pain and suffering, thank you. I no longer find it romantic, or a sign that I’m a caring or good person. If I am at the helm of my life—and I fully believe that I am—than I’m going to do everything I can to redirect this vessel towards freedom, love, joy, clarity, contentment, and fun.
To paraphrase Bruce Schneider, pain may be inevitable, but suffering is optional.
I can let go of feeling like I need to “fix” others or even see them as broken because if we are all the masters of our lives, then each person gets to decide which reaction and experience they will have. If they chose to be miserable, who am I to tell them they shouldn’t be? After all, my years of suffering were absolutely necessary for me to truly want to change, to be so focused and determined to find a different way that the path began to open up before me. Every one of my experiences was perfect for me on the road to where I am now, and will continue to unfold perfectly—for me.
The message that I want to shout to the world is, “It’s a choice! You get to choose! You have the power! And making a different choice feels so much better!” For those that it might help, I want to share how I did it and tools that I’ve learned so if they want to feel better, they have support guiding them towards their path. Their way will look different than mine, and isn’t that diversity what makes life grand?
For many, many reasons people will resonate with my message, experience, and process—or not. If being happy isn’t important to you or something you want, how beautiful is it that you get to make a different choice? And if it is, there are lots of ways to get there. Find the way that works best for you.
If we were all having the exact same experience and there was only one “right” way, the Universe would be pretty limited and from my perspective, the whole point of life is to expand and grow. Even scientists tell us the Universe is expanding. To me that is the very point of every experience that each of us is having—both that which we judge good and bad. Evolution is not one species making a quick jump to become another. It’s the moment-to-moment creation of our unique perspectives and responses to the ever-changing swirl of life.
So what’s the point of pursuing happiness? What’s the point—to you? Why is it important—or not—to you? That’s where the true answer lies.
For me, it’s waking up this morning literally laughing at a joke I created in my dreams. It’s feeling light-hearted and so filled with love in this moment that I want to share it with any person who wants to receive it. It’s appreciating my husband who I can hear right now in the kitchen washing the dishes.
It’s wanting to laugh instead of weep, being engaged and excited in my work, instead of dreading it so much I can hardly get out of bed. It’s knowing that today, I feel better than I did yesterday, and in tomorrow there is the opportunity to feel even better than today. It’s learning to go with the flow of life and seeing it as an adventure instead of purgatory. It’s because life for me finally feels good, and I want more of that, please!
There is no right or wrong answer. This is just where you are in your journey. Come along with mine—or not. And as you share your journey, it will either resonate with me—or not.
What is truly sublime is finding the people you do click with and who you not only get value from, but who you give value back to by sharing your journey, responses, and insights. We are creating an ever-expanding circle of growth, clarity, connection, and inspiration.
And that makes me happy!
Together we can do it!
Photo by Rosen Georgiev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net