You don’t deserve happiness
I was finding life hard going the other day.
This was all in my head. In actual fact, my life, when I really analyse it, is very good.
Having said that it’s no good just dismissing my thoughts as being, “all in my head” as the mind is the most powerful instrument we possess. So if the mind isn’t flourishing, nothing is.
I questioned why I didn’t feel happy then suddenly thought, maybe this is the problem.
Who says I’m meant to be happy?
No where does it state that my default setting should be happiness. So why do I think I automatically deserve happiness?
If happiness is the ultimate goal in life then why do I expect it to be such an easy quality to possess?
Being happy isn’t meant to be easy so just expecting to be happy is part of the problem.
If I don’t let him do what he wants, Fred, my four year old son, will often have a tantrum screaming and shouting, “Awwwww it’s not fair!”
I reply, “I know it’s not fair Fred, you’ve got more than a lot of other children”, attempting to flip his logic on it’s head.
He doesn’t understand what I’m talking about.
What I’m getting at is, when we believe we have a right to something and don’t get it, we feel cheated.
So we feel bad we don’t get that thing and bad because we were supposed to have that thing. We feel doubly bad.
The problem is, we’ve all been brainwashed by sayings such as, “As long as you’re happy, that’s the main thing”.
This type of sentiment suggests if you don’t get what you want at least you have happiness to fall back on, as if it’s a God given right.
What if we start believing that we don’t automatically deserve happiness?
What if we accept that most of our lives will be a difficult trudge through a barren uneventful dry desert, interspersed with the odd oasis?
Wouldn’t we learn to appreciate the oasis more, due to their scarcity?
Or would we get sick of trudging through the hot sand and settle down in the oasis?
Of course we’d settle down in the oasis.
Unfortunately after an extended period of time, the oasis doesn’t seem a luxury anymore because we become used to it, it becomes the accepted norm.
Add to this fact that we no longer have to experience the trudge through the unwelcoming desert and it has no contrast against which to compare it.
It’s not hard to enjoy the oasis, it’s hard to enjoy the desert but if we can accept that sometimes we have to experience the desert, then the oasis will always seem like paradise.
The trouble is we often feel unhappy because we take for granted what an easy going life we have with no real hardship to compare it to.
All I’m trying to say is, I should never take happiness for granted, it’s a privilege and even more amazing because of it’s very scarcity. I should therefore enjoy it as much as I can whenever I am lucky to experience it.
The problem I have is expecting more happiness rather than appreciating the happiness I have.
It’s about gratitude. this is why I’ve added a gratitude status bar to happymap. What are you grateful for today?