Happiness is a state of mind. Your state of mind. Who do you think is responsible to keep it peaceful/sane?
I think happiness is a personal choice. I didn’t approach it that way before but now, I do strongly feel it’s a choice. Your choice. It’s easy to sit back and think you are a sad person and there’s nothing you can do or change about it. But do you want to be happy? Once you’re clear on that, everything else will fall into place most often. You obviously cannot choose to be happy in all situations, that’s absolutely not my point. But you can change the way you look at those situations.
I decided I wanted to be happy one day sprawled out on my bed. I had made this decision several times before. But that day, I was determined to do something about it. I was done with all the negativity. Desperate for some peace, I rolled out of bed, made myself some black coffee and went out to my front yard. Sat there, amidst plants grown by my father. I had sat there after a year that day. It used to be my spot at some point of time. A few minutes in, I noticed three plants had flowers, pink, red and white. Funny I’d never noticed flowers in my garden before. My dad always told me these plants smiled at him every morning when he watered them. I thought of that and stared real hard trying to spot a smile amongst them and ended up smiling at my silliness.
This small thing made me feel positive, I liked it. I started trying really hard every day after that. Tried to make sure I did something that brought myself to smile at least once by the end of each day. Tried to make sure I spent more time outdoors than indoor. This one day, I randomly took off on a walk in my locality and made some friends, 2 dogs and a calf. They were sitting huddled up in an empty plot two crosses away. I spent at least an hour with them that day. That was the day I started talking to all animals in general, turns out I’m not just a dog person, I’m a cow person too.
This ritual of doing a happy deed everyday went on for a while.
Then of course, shit happened. It happens to everyone. How do you choose to be happy when something or someone you love is taken away from you out of the blue? It could be a person, a pet, a relationship, a career option, a job, whatever it is. It was a trial and error learning process. I tried really hard to look at things in a positive way.
Maybe it happened for the best. Maybe that person would’ve led a painful life if they had survived. Maybe a better job is going to knock your door soon. Maybe you’ll meet someone who’ll make you feel a hundred more butterflies than you felt in this relationship. Maybe you weren’t meant to be an engineer like your brother. Maybe you were meant to cross paths with that person so you learn what kind of company you don’t like. Maybe? This made me hope for a better tomorrow and even look forward to the near future.
Accept temporaries. With focusing on your happiness comes the disappearance of some friends. You’re going to meet so many people that you think will be a part of your life forever. Who you think will always remain the same. The day you stop expecting this from every person you’ve had a great day with, you will realize what these expectations were doing to you. How much they were clogging up your head. The thing is, everybody is constantly growing and changing (you and I included). So sometimes their priorities change, you may drop down their list or maybe even kicked out of it all together. But why are you hurt?
Why did you expect them to keep you there? ‘Cause of all the good memories you gave them? Did you really do all of that and expect something in return? Did you think they were obligated to do these things that made you happy, their entire life? That’s clearly where you messed up.
No obligations. No one should ever feel obligated to do anything for anybody. Ever. Neither you, nor them. At some point before, I didn’t know how to say NO to people. For example, I’d get invited to a party where I don’t like the company of a majority of the people who are going to be there. I’d still go because of that person who invited me. To keep that person happy.
Or if someone asked me to do them a favour I wasn’t comfortable doing, I’d still do it. And then, think about why I couldn’t say no to them, all night. These tiny things though tiny, really took a toll on my peace of mind.
Then I stopped. I realised one day that the only person I had to keep happy was ME. I know myself better than anyone else does. So if I know I’m not going to have a good time at that place or feel negative once I’m home from there, why bother going there? If I know I’m going to feel like shit after doing that favour, why bother doing it?
Things became easier once my friends learned to love and accept this ‘no obligations’ rule I’d made for myself. Easier for both parties.
Unfollow/unfriend/STFU. Social media is such a big part of our lives now, that even this point is oh so important. Don’t like something someone posted? Unfollow them. Don’t like seeing someone in your feed? Unfriend them. Listen to your mind. Prioritise your happiness over everyone else’s. This is the only situation where it’s okay to be selfish. Don’t agree with someone’s opinion? Remain quiet. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. It’s that simple. Why spend time that could be used for something productive in spreading hate? Or rather, use that time to compliment another person, it’s going to make you and another person feel positive or maybe even smile!
I hope this bunch of words and thoughts I put together got you thinking. I hope you find it in yourself to want to be happy and do something about it. And if you already are, know that you are blessed! 🙂