I felt as if I was falling, no tumbling, through the rabbit hole and I just wanted to wake up, but I wasn’t Alice, this wasn’t the rabbit hole, and I wasn’t going to wake up. This was real. This was me. I was facing heartbreak on a scale that I never imagined. Three major things that I cared about were being stripped away from me and I was left to figure out how to keep going. This is where I came up with it: Chalese’s Happiness Theory….
What is happiness?
Why does everyone search for this?
Is it possible to obtain?
Is it possible to sustain?
Here is what I found: happiness is an emotion. It is an emotion, just like sadness, just like being scared, or nervous, etc. Of course everyone is capable of feeling this, so it is possible to obtain, but it is not possible to sustain. You see, that is not reality. That is not life. It is not possible to live in a constant state of happiness or else you’d see us all with the Stepford wife permagrin on our faces.
When I really started to think about it, if you live in a constant state of happiness, that happiness becomes bleak, stagnant and normal. We like being happy, because it is an emotion that doesn’t always happen. Now, we don’t like being sad or angry, but it is something that will happen regardless of whether you want it to or not. Feeling those emotions are necessary in order to truly understand what happiness is.
Understand that I am not simply saying we shouldn’t strive to be happy. Feeling happy is incredible! I love to be happy! What I am saying is when I stopped searching for happiness I found more of who I really wanted to be. I don’t just want to be happy, I want to live a fulfilled life. I want to thrive! I believe that what we find when we strive to live this type of life is that we begin living from a place of bravery. We are courageous and hopeful. We find ways to feel all of the emotions and become grounded when we start to float away with our thoughts. We start to accept and love ourselves unconditionally. This to me is joy. This to me is bliss. The idea that I can conquer anything that is put in my path gives me strength.
When I think about my life I remember the times when I was happiest as well as the times when I was the saddest. I remember times I laughed and I remember times I cried. They are all important to my story. They are all necessary for my growth. I am just as grateful for the dark times as I am the times when I feel full of light and shine bright for all the world to see.
If I had my choice, I would naturally prefer not to go to very dark places anymore…I feel as if I’ve had my share of pain and suffering, however I accept I have no control over this. My motivation is not the search for happiness. My motivation is creating harmony and balance. It is loving not only my journey and my process, but the ones that surround me as I dive deep into the feelings and emotions of what got me here.
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with searching for happiness if that is what you need to do. I am saying to be cautious about the words you use and the way you think of it. What does it mean to be happy? Are you limiting what you are capable of? For some people it may just be words. For me it is a mindset. If you are living your life to its fullest you are doing more than simply searching for happiness. You will never escape hard times. Days, weeks and maybe even months are not always going to be fun and you won’t always enjoy it. It doesn’t mean that you won’t still be fulfilled and thrive. Thriving in life means you are continuing to grow. It is my belief that if you stop searching for happiness, you will be able to feel it with more ease. You will recognize the emotion and enjoy being happy. You may even be able to feel it on an even deeper level because you won’t be afraid of what might happen when life happens and another emotion arises.
My theory is just that…a theory so I can be proven wrong. My underlying hope is that you recognize how beautiful all of life can be. If you are struggling right now, remember that you will get through this as well, you have before. Even though you may be feeling sad right now, if you are tired of fighting and just want to be happy again…you will be. Look for the light in the darkness. Have gratitude for what surrounds you. Find that peace in the storm and smile. It is not an easy thing to do, but as difficult as it is, there are so many blessings that you are possibly missing right here right now. All you need to do is feel it, embrace it and honor it. Like my dear friend Susan once said, “You don’t want to miss this part of the story.” I will never forget that, and I hope you won’t either.