Don’t go looking for emotional fulfilment

I’ve been struggling with my emotions lately, as I have done quite a few times before. I haven’t been quite sure of what I want, and what is right — and this has affected my life, as well as those who are in my emotional purview, adversely. I don’t know what has been bothering me; I simply know that I have been unhappy sometimes, and I took this as a motivating factor to try and chase happiness.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the common saying — “Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you try to catch it, the more elusive it gets.” Or something like that, anyway. It’s an adage you might find in children’s books, or on an Instagram/Facebook/Twitter post. It’s known to us all, but somehow, somewhere down the one way road called time, I forgot. You don’t get happiness the same way you achieve goals after months or years of planning and hard work. You don’t decide to search for it, and then find it in a corner of your life that you never thought of before. You get it sometimes, out of the blue, when you least expect it. You must certainly cannot capture it even if you do find it, for then it will wilt into an entirely different thing altogether.

As I grow older and experience more situations and people, I can’t help but long for the view of life I had when I was younger. It was all simple — there are good guys and bad guys, and I am the lead character in my story. I have to ward off the bad guys, and then when I win at life, I frolic with the good guys into the horizon, as happiness surrounds us.

But that’s not how simple it is; it isn’t just about being happy or sad. There are other more complicated emotions — pity, longing, jealousy, pride, hurt — and more importantly, there are other more complex aspects to a person’s personality — their past, the difference between who they are and who they want to be, their insecurities, their secrets. It’s a scary world with scary people if you decide to embrace truth. No wonder we all create a a belief system, something that we cling on to. Our very own set of delusions, as harsh as that may seem. I had read once that being honest on a day to day basis is emotionally expensive — never have I read a truer sentence. It is true, if we were to be honest about every one of our feelings and thoughts, every moment in every day, we would be wrecks, and the world would come crashing down with the weight of our thoughts and actions.

In an attempt at being verbose about my emotions, I have let loose a torrent of words that I cannot take back. I was just trying to let people into my life, so that they would understand and appreciate that I am but a human being, and that while I understand their point of view, I still need someone to discount my inadequacies and still appreciate me for who I am. I re-directed my anger and hurt towards myself, because I know everyone has their reasons for behaving the way they do, and I am loyal: I cannot leave someone because of their inadequacies, as long as I count that person as one of my own. I want security and loyalty, because that is the most special thing I can offer to anyone close to me — but perhaps that is not what I need. Perhaps I need to run out, and do things that make me squirm. Security and loyalty are my deepest desires, and yet, they are my biggest enemies. I have lost people because of them, and more importantly, I have lost sight of who I am because of them. Happiness for me is security and loyalty, and I have chased them: only to realize that they’ll be gone if I look towards them, or think about them.

Don’t make the same mistake. If something gives you happiness, sit tight and pretend it’s not that important. Maybe then you’ll have it for longer. Or maybe then you’ll see there’s plenty more to life than chasing happiness.

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