They say: stop for a moment, smell the flowers, look around, find happiness in little things.
There’s only one problem: we confuse happiness with joy. We use these two words interchangeably, like those are identical things. And while joy is an essential part of happiness, not every joy constitutes happiness. We have this illusion in our heads that happiness is something constant, something one must feel all the time. This perception guilts us into thinking we better appear to be something we not necessarily are.
I believe that happiness is more of a random feeling, which comes and goes as it pleases. You cannot summon it whenever you need it, and that’s the beauty of it. Imagine, you are standing on the top of the rock, looking at a valley filled with every pleasure and pain you have, realising that you can be blown off the top at the very next moment. And the fact that you are alive, lucky to have your life just as it is, fills you with joy you can’t contain. There it is. That dangellion-wine-kind-of-moment, when the things you have previously only known in your head suddenly hit you and you realize them with every fiber of your everlasting soul.
A friend of mine challenged me to a 100 happy days project a couple weeks ago. I thought, wow, what a wonderful idea to notice things that make me happy every single day. Doing that should make me feel better. It should make me appreciate the things I have. It should make me happier. However, the only thing the project really gave me so far was realization that 99% of things I posted on our collective tumblr were pleasures which did not make me happier.
I chose those little indulgences because they brought me joy. All of them kinda made my day, but none of them, on its own, was powerful enough to bring me happiness. Because it cannot be brought. Happiness is not a perpetual feeling or a state of mind. Joy is.
We carefully choose our pleasures. We are hoping they will look good in the valley. After all, pleasure is probably the only thing in the world we pick for its own sake. But abundance of pleasures, however good they can make us feel, are not capable of bringing us happiness.
Happiness cannot be neither pursued nor controlled. It takes you in its warm embrace whenever you least expect it. It pours the truth at you, opens your eyes and lets you see. Happiness does not come in a box. It doesn’t stay with you. Its like a blaze of lightning, showing you the world for a brief second.
If you must control something in your life, look for joy wherever you go. You shall find it.