What makes me happy?
I should be grateful for a lot of things but honestly and top of mind I would say something and that something by the way isn’t present right now.
Is it realistic that the only thing I don’t have is the one thing that makes me happy?
Shall I wait for it or move on and try to enjoy what I have been given and maybe one day I will have something better than what I wanted
Is it loyalty or self torture to wait ?! will it make a difference to stay miserable in a shell waiting or go out, hope for the best and let what will be .. be .
Some say … fear is a memory of pain. being careful not to get hurt (again) has more to do with thinking about causes or reasons than expecting it.
Ask a dentist and he will tell you that anticipating pain doesn’t make it any easier it just prolongs it.
The positive thoughts and affirmations like “I am strong and tolerant and many people go under the same procedures everyday “ or “I will bear this temporary pain to solve my teeth problems” or “it’s painful both ways, let’s get done with that root canal once and for all”, … that’s what makes things better.
We fear the recurrence of things that has already happened and we survived them … congratulations we are still alive !
I remember a relative’s word after losing her mother preceded by the death of her son and then husband saying “ khalas ba2a 3andy yaqeen” meaning that she developed a kind of believer’s certainty. She was saying that with comfort, peace and ease.
We also fear things that not only others have went through but enjoyed … people with acrophobia for example (fear of heights) won’t enjoy the view from the 10th floor balcony though others would. There are a lot of examples including break ups, people are not impacted as severely as others and again it’s all in here (the mind) and all about the thought that a temporary pain can be endured to end suffering or avoid a greater one.
So what is “Fear” as defined ? it is the instinctual response to potential danger, resulting in nervous and physical changes to prepare the body for actions (such as running, fighting, even been able to lift a car to save a trapped child). as protective mechanisms to increase our chances of survival.
So fear is a response to face danger not a relentless state of anticipation.
Do I deserve to be happy/ content?
What about … they aren’t happy, how insensitive of me to be happy now?
If God gives you happiness, you have gotta take it and be thankful for it. If happiness comes knocking at your door, it’s yours and it belongs to those who you can share it with.
About other people’s discontentment: survivors guilt.
Things might look different from a more positive approach and the energy exerted in negative feelings can better drive constructive actions and attempts to help. You can’t steal from others’ happiness packages.
I personally prefer terms like “Contentment ” or well being to happiness and pleasure.
Happiness is too stretched and relative while pleasure is variable and slippery, I was pleased to meet an old friend then I started to notice how different views/ attitudes/ … we are now adopting and felt I no longer enjoy his//her company. or I am really hungry and I ordered a massive meal, yes it’s delicious but I am full, I can’t get anymore of it.
So the happiness I mean in my posts is more of “contentment or “wellness”.
Let’s face it, I am not miss sunshine with the rose tented spectacles anymore… “anymore” !
And I am not fine with that. I am trying to change. If that means I used to be positive, optimistic and hopeful . Yes many years ago.
The” happy people” I think we should really literally “study” and learn from are … children.
When I was a child my interests were mainly music and anything that has to do with colors.
I will put painting and colors aside though my interest was kind of obsession, I recall spending hours jotting lines and testing, mixing and pouring colors or even watching very calmly other kids in class drawing and looking up to them with great admiration.
Back to music, I was 6 years old, may be slightly younger. Our next door neighbors got their kids an electric keyboard, that was a big deal in the early 80s was more popular and affordable than a piano.
My parents noticed that I was spending more time at the neighbor’s place and the kids could hardly play with their own instrument because I was playing all the time. Don’t know if that was my strategy to convince my parents to buy me one and put an end to the little kids misery 🙂
It turned out just the way I wanted it only that the electric keyboard I got was very basic and not expensive. That was a reflection of how my parents saw it ; a “toy” that I would play with, disassemble to million smashable pieces and lose interest in whatever remains.
I loved the basic keyboard and I felt yes that’s what I wanted, and that’s mine. I have the right to play and the responsibility to do something good with it. Ie. play well. Although there was no one to teach me or no one to learn from … again for my parents it was a toy.
I started to listen carefully to the sound of each key and train myself to memorize how they sounded so I can play the songs in my head. (the little head back then could hold few songs ranging from Happy birthday to frero Jacko :D) but it worked. I could play !
A lot of kids learned music and various things that way.
Kids pursue what they want, ask for it with resilience and don’t take no for an answer. They set goals (play an instrument) and find out ways to achieve the goals (even if it’s trial and error).
They are not discouraged by others assumptions and they don’t anticipate failure. And even when they don’t succeed or discover that’s not what they wanted they go for another thing. They are flexible and they know how to cope with their abilities almost without or with very brief temporary frustration.
It’s way easier to motivate them compared to adults.
They are optimistic and hopeful. They see the world a very big and exciting place even when they are grounded they know there are a lot to look forward to out there.
They feel safe and secure when they know they are being looked after and we disregard all that and forget that we are the same beings. Allah was watching over us when we were kids and we are still watched over and looked after we only have to believe it.
Difficult things happen to make us better people. If not now … eventually !
Happy, pleased, content, well, … ?
If it took you seconds to say YES! . congrats we will be studying you in the next posts 🙂
If thoughts of fear, pain, loss, worry, problems took over then we’ve gotta do something.
We need to change the way we think so we feel differently. We have to free more space to increase our capacity to receive happiness. we need to know that …
“Happy people do not experience one success after another and unhappy people, one failure after another. Instead, surveys show that happy and unhappy people tend to have had very similar life experiences. The difference is that the average unhappy person spends more than twice as much time thinking about unpleasant events in their lives, while happy people tend to seek and rely upon information that brightens their personal outlook. (Lyubomirsky 1994)
So now what, think happy thought like in Peter Pan’s story and we will fly ?
Actually yes, we have to replace the negative thoughts resulted from tough experiences with positive ones. Those who had to take anti-depressants know it’s all about the chemistry not only the external factors. Except that pills are not the answer, …
“When you think negative and limiting thoughts for a long time, you create a chemical imbalance in your brain, and you feel bad. When you think positive and unlimited thoughts for an extended period, you restore the normal chemical balance, and you feel good once again. What you think about matters, because it determines the chemistry of your brain
So the first step is change, willingness to change. (to be continued)
Take the tests : http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx
That’s my new series of posts, I developed not only interest but fondness of Positive Psychology (The Science of Happiness). I decided to read more about it, watch more videos and learn as much as I can about it.
I am still taking baby steps but thought of sharing these tiny steps as well as my own thoughts with you in a series of posts called “The Pursuit of Happiness”. Yes ! … it’s kinda inspired by (stolen from) the movie 🙂
Since I have been away for quite some time, and since my upcoming posts won’t be of a political nature.
This is briefly what this revolution is to me …
ارفع راسك فوق انت مصرى – Hold your head UP high: You’re Egyptian!
We all want, try and strive to be happy. One fact … “nothing remains the same”.
We fear “change” in good times but we wish for it when we are sad and lonely.
That’s how we realize how fair it is. Change can be drastic and flip our lives upside down in one instance but it’s the only thing that can fix it back again. We always like the “change” when it’s to an instant perceivable better but it’s too painful when involves loss.
Even by our humble humanistic measures when we work on something and we can see it’s messed up sometimes the solution is to get rid of everything and start all over again, start from scratch, sacrificing the time and effort already invested for a better result.
May be that what is meant when we lose something we have already worked at and put our heart and soul in. We feel sorry for that part of us lost with it but we wait for the change. We wait so eagerly and keep it in front of us all the time to numb the pain and fill the emptiness. We start looking right and left try to read the signs that we have missed and lead us to the wrong way. Sometimes we don’t see any and sometimes we see too many and get confused. Just like a baby… a needy, clingy baby who wants to catch anything and hold on to it to feel safe and to belong.
Happiness doesn’t last nor does sadness, loss is what life is about … everything has its own maturity and expiry date. Life itself one day will end that’s why we have to be realistic about our expectations.
One day I was feeling so down, I was at work and it was time for Dohr prayer.
I went to the praying room and after I was done, I noticed two girls sitting in the corner, while I was adjusting myself and putting on my shoes I heard one of them telling the other “I have learned not to get so excited about anything nor get depressed” the other girl was so astonishes and asked her back” and why is that” she said “my mother has passed away, and since then I knew I can never be as happy as I was when she was with me and also nothing can hurt as much as her loss has made me feel.”
I was so moved by what the girl has said …her voice and the way she was saying it. She didn’t seem or sound sad or happy just like she was saying, she didn’t show any particular emotion that I could recognize and yet charged me with a lot of emotions, thoughts and gratitude to god. Really whenever we have a problem we have to remember there are worse. While someone is laughing across the street someone else is aching.
We are not alone, it’s a cycle of good times and bad times and everyone has his/her time and share.
It’s acceptance and faith that have to be sought before happiness, it’s time that can heal and solve problems when we fail to and support that can make things more tolerable if not from outside when everyone has enough and nobody seem to listen it’s from within.