I pretty consistently feel peaceful with a dash of joy and gratitude and maybe even a little serenity these days. But that doesn't mean I'm always happy. I'm often irritable or tired or just plain out of it.
My happiness is fleeting because I believe that's what happiness is. Fleeting like a caffeine high or that little lift in your belly when you're on an elevator, maybe after some good news or an achievement or a hormonally good day.
This is why they say that happiness is a choice. It's sporadic and temporary and we want it so badly we choose to force it in the midst of fatigue and the hard things of life. We chase it like a drug and believe we've failed if we don't feel it all the time.
I used to expect this fleeting feeling to stick, and then I'd grow frustrated with myself for not being able to hold on to it. I'd see these people who always seemed to be so happy all the time, and I'd wonder why I wasn't strong enough to be like them. I thought I must be doing something wrong, when maybe in reality it was just simply time to get off the elevator and continue walking through the work week, tired.
What I've really always wanted was that constant thing, that undercurrent of acceptance of things exactly as they are. And that doesn't always look or feel like happiness.
The thing is, the people who seem happy all the time are perhaps not feeling happiness as much as wearing it, you know. Like a fanny pack, jutting out from the hip, filled with good thoughts and a positive attitude. These people are working very hard, doing the nearly impossible to keep that pack filled, and that's why we admire them. For trying so hard when we feel like we can't, or when our innate personalities just won't let us.
I'm beginning to think that when we just can't, when happiness seems to bounce right off, perhaps we should lighten up and look underneath. Because when we dig a little deeper and find that at the core of who we are, we are overjoyed by the people and gifts in our lives, our fanny packs are filled with just as much trying and overcoming even if they're a bit more hidden, maybe behind our backs.
Maybe this is too obvious to say, but I think that for many of us, the depths of spirit within the melancholy periods of frustration and confusion are required to truly feel their opposite, happiness. I'm working on remembering that all the while, even while I don't often feel the belly butterflies or the buzz of happy, peace and joy do remain, as real as my beating heart. And maybe that is true happiness, not always worn, but always felt, somewhere in the deepest parts.
How are you made? What's your temperament and have you accepted you, the way that you came?
This post is a part of Five for Ten at Momalom. Join us (if it'll make you happy!) (I know. Hilarity.)