Everlasting Happiness and The End of Depression

June 17, 2011

I took a self defense class in which the goal was to become water. This is not what the instructors taught, but this was one of the passing ideas I was told while trying to “get it” and at the same time acknowledging that if this was a real fight I would have been killed more than 10 times over. The most you could become water, the more you will both survive attack from an aggressor and also be in the right position to subdue a would-be attacker by always being in the right place for the deadliest blow to execute and end the fight in an instant. Unhappiness is the same thing. It is a fight that you suddenly realize you are losing because instead of being water, you are rigid like a board and every punch and blow is rattling you to the core. This “you” that is solid when it hurts and like water when when you are never in any danger is your ego. If you can keep your ego loose, unattached, liquid, and flowing freely, nothing can hurt you.

I am surrounded by people in constant fear. Fear is good, because it tells you something about your relationship to your environment, which is important to survive. Fear should be viewed as a dashboard gauge or alert light that turns on just to make you aware of something to make the best possible next decisions. If it becomes more than that, it paralyzes and rules your habits and behaviors, ensuring that you will make only poor decisions. Improper reaction to fear can bring on aggression, just a defense mechanism to protect the ego that is stiff as a board. Some people have learned to manage their fears so there is a baseline operation within fear that looks normal, even seemingly happy, but the angriest people I know are reactive fearing people that are not comfortable with knowing happiness, but more comfortable with experiencing pleasure and contentment in short bursts. This gives the illusion of happiness while it could simply be a majority depressive state with exceptional moments of coming up for air; not true happiness, but an attempt at feeling satisfaction with pleasure, and pleasure is just a selfish bandage. I know a few people that are somehow living most of their waking hours without this baseline of fear, and the fearful around them try to convince with logic everyone else that fear is the way of life. It’s the way of life because you need to be serious, work hard, and make lots of sacrifices if you want your just rewards, right? Otherwise you’d just be a dreamer who lived in a fairy tale, not real life. Also, if the unhappy see you happy, they tend to feel jealousy.

Let me pose the question to you: Are you happy? Here’s the good news. I don’t want to know the answer, and I’m not asking the question for you to answer out loud for any other people to hear it. I’m asking because I think it’s important for you to hear yourself answer the question alone, and honestly, to yourself; because if you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with? So, are you happy? If you haven’t immediately answered with a “yes”, maybe even the first time I asked the question, there may be some things you need to think about before you even try to answer. Questions like, “What is it that makes you happy?”. The answer(s) to this question will lead you down the path of understanding why it may be taking you so long to answer the first question. If you quickly answered “no”, what are the reasons?

If you had to step back and try to tackle the second question before the first, and maybe even can’t answer that one immediately, there is a third question to help you to get to the truth about yourself and living in eternal, unshakeable happiness. “Is happiness dictated by things that are outside of yourself?”, and are these things that you began to list if you said “no” to the question of your happiness?

After all this, there is a simplicity to happiness, and it has to be within you, thriving without dependency on what can stimulate you from the outside world. If you need something to be happy, you’re already the parrot of the physical and material world, trapped in a cage of habit and behavior. It has to surprise you at every corner; it can’t be a laid plan or list that tells you when it’s coming. That’s the recipe for certain disappointment.

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