Chasing the happiness unicorn
This slab of desk is rattling softly beneath the steady punch punch of keys.
The pale, sun-baked skin of its face is smooth to the heel of my hands.
It’s tiny moments like these — where sensation and self awareness meet for a high five and a smoke — that I am most aware of the oddity that is the struggle to find happiness and meaning.
Sitting here, hunched over a small keyboard in the half dark of early morning, I can feel the palpable weight of the “in-between” nature of the passion pursuit.
To live and to find happy are not mutually exclusive, nor are they as intimately connected at times as we would like.
Unless, of course, you’re in the lifestyle improvement business and chained to the idea that happiness is an outcome at the end of a long line of steps.
In reality, it’s a process more than a destination, but few advocate this perspective because it’s not very profitable to simplify the chase down to its common denominator.
Happiness is not to be found hiding somewhere under a rock, nor are passion, success or all of the other lifestyle concepts we force through the sieve of “accomplishment at all costs.”
I’ve been at this game for some years and counting, and I’ve discovered more through dedicated simplification than I have hustling for a shiny new me.
Which has soft landed me at the realization that we have a strangely abstract relationship with happiness.
In the pursuit of this distant and devilish light of a better life, we’re robbing ourselves of a simple truth and power that is timeless and already present in our current lives:
To be happy is to be.
All of the striving and pushing to find what is already inherent. All of the development of self through the constant application of change. All of the searching for answers to questions that don’t need asking.
What’s equally ironic and sobering is the fact that the chase can be the very mechanism that pushes our happiness further from our grasp, most especially if we fail to embrace and reflect on the now in the midst of our dash for the finish.
I’m not advocating resting on our laurels and accepting life as it is without pushing ourselves to positively evolve. Finding freedom and meaning is a process that requires intention as much as it does the light of action. Improvement is most certainly a mirror reflection of the two.
But I caution you to recognize change for what it is:
A gradual peeling back of the false sense of self to reveal the true you that exists beneath and beyond any outcome.
No matter where you or I reside on our journeys currently, the ability to be happy is already within, and it can be honored with the light of your attention at any time.
And here’s the kicker.
All of that striving and pushing and hustling you’re doing in the name of freedom?
It gets better with a healthy dose of presence and reflection along the way.
Just remember that the race toward a “better” life should never drown the ability to enjoy all of the tiny moments along the way.