Chasing Happiness = Creating Unhappiness

For as long as I can remember, I have been chasing happiness, as if it were a balloon soaring off into space. If only I could just figure out how to grab it, then I would have everything I want.

Unfortunately, I have been searching for this idea of happiness in all the wrong things. I tend to assume certain things I do, go, or get will finally bring me what I’ve been so desperately seeking.

If I do this, then I will surely be happy. If I go here, then I will figure everything out and be happy. If I buy that, then I’ll have everything I need.

I have learned that this false idea of happiness, this expectation that if I just keep searching, I’ll finally be happy, is just an attempt to escape the real problems I need to face. I expect certain things to bring me happiness and yes, sometimes they do, but eventually I get let down and just end up feeling even more depressed.

I get excited to go places. I was super excited to finally be traveling to California for the first time. I envisioned myself as a different person out there and thought everything was going to be perfect. But I wasn’t a different person. I was still me. The shy, un-excited, boring person I always have been. I loved seeing my friend and enjoyed his company so much. But my mind kept getting in the way of how I had thought things would be. I’m not saying I didn’t have fun and I didn’t feel moments of happiness while visiting, but I just had expected too much and let myself down in the process.

And this is not a new lesson. I  know what I do, and yet I do it continuously. I do it without even knowing I’m doing it. I assume I will be happier from doing things, going places, or buying stuff, and it’s a trap I always get stuck in because this assumption only brings an unrealistic view of happiness.

When I envision events and how they will go in my head, I picture myself as someone else. I see the person I wish I could be so when the even happens and I’m not that person, I become angry at myself and it all goes downhill from there. It’s as though I refuse to accept that I am who I am, and think I need to be a person who is outgoing, happy, excited for things. This is what I’ve been taught I should be. I’ve been teased about it my whole life.

“why are you so quiet?”

“why don’t you talk?”

“why are you not excited?”

So how am I suppose to accept something that I don’t think people like? More importantly, how can I accept something I’ve been taught not to like?

So I continue to search for happiness in these ways because I don’t know any other way. Where does happiness come from? How can I find it? Does it even exist?

Is the act of trying to find happiness, in fact the reason why I am so unhappy? If I stop trying so hard, would happiness find me?

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