The Pursuit of Happiness – A Personal Reflection
A reflection: #RiseAbove
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what this means. You see, happiness isn’t about being happy every moment of every day for the rest of your life. Because as all of us know, we’re only human. This means we are subject to all kinds of emotions, and can’t determine when we will be happy, sad, or angry. These things just happen to us.
What about Charles Swindoll’s saying: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to this” well… Maybe not. You see I think this is a pretty stiff percentage, and truth be told, I don’t really like rules anyways. But I think Swindoll was onto something here. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our actions and attitudes. This is a fact.
Now, if you’re anything like me, then learning patience and swallowing the hard pills of life did not come naturally and took a lot of time. It also took me a really long time to stop cursing myself for over reacting all the time and to accept that I am only human. I can only do my best. This is where our happiness comes from, our own self confidence and how we choose to view the world and those around us.
Thus bringing us back to Mr. Swindoll. It has taken me a long time to understand that I can only rise above, find the positivity and the courage to process and move on, after I’ve felt all the immediate reactions and allowed myself to be angry, sad, frustrated, whatever my reaction may be. It is so easy to get stuck on these negative emotions, to let them consume our thoughts, time and energy. It’s even harder to find any kind of light when what has happened to you is devastating. In times like this, we react negatively and for a long time. It simply hurts too much to try to find anything good. I think that this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Negativity is a good thing? How..
Negativity must be conquered in order to get to the positive and in order to find that damn happiness. When we hold back, hold on to our negative emotions and don’t allow them to surface, we let that negativity dwell within ourselves and it may show itself whenever and however. Yelling unnecessarily at those you love, sneering at people you come across, giving the cold shoulder.. We’ve all been there. When we allow ourselves the time to properly deal with the situation we are facing, to let all the emotions go, we can properly move on and look towards the brighter future.
Through all of the negativity I have experienced and faced, I’ve found that the best motto for myself to follow is to Rise Above. Whatever the situation, no matter how hurt or betrayed you feel, rise above. Because when you put those good feeling out there, after you’ve dealt with the negativity, the good comes back to you. It starts and ends with you.
This motto has gotten me through some of the worst and most unexpected experiences of my life. When you are happy, when you are no longer negative you have the capacity to be kind to yourself and to others. This is where happiness comes from. You may be working towards that goal, a new house, new car, next step up in your career, but reaching those goals doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t happy when you get there. No amount of consumer goods will fulfill your happiness because it can’t get rid of the anxieties and frustrations of life, it can only temporarily bring you joy. True happiness that comes from within can’t be taken away. And once you know yourself and find that motto that works for you, you can truly be happy.
To summarize: don’t follow harsh guidelines, we are a product of what we make of ourselves, but we are also a product of life and no matter what anyone says – we can’t always just ‘get over it’ and be ‘damn happy’ because true happiness takes time as it must be built. It requires a patience that so much of us have trouble with, it requires the courage and strength to look inside and to self reflect, it requires us to deal with the negative consequences of life and to rise above.
Fight the good fight, fight for yourself, because when we start to improve and find our happiness, we become unstoppable. No matter what life throws your way, you are able to find a way through. Be kind to yourself, you are doing the best you can do. Take that first step back that big ugly hard step of ‘being the better person’, because we are on our way to the better destination, the happy one.