“Happiness is inside you … and you shouldn’t be depended on things outside you to be happy …….Your Happiness depends on you …..”
Already feeling like a criminal amidst all saintly souls who relentlessly work hard forwarding moral lessons every morning, I was appalled when I saw this message doing turns every week last month. Absolutely fed up with close ones busy with themselves and paying little or no attention to me, the message irked me as if someone has put Amritanjan Balm on my bruised state of mind.
How true and practical is that? Does the person writing it even believe in this? Or she is plain happy at being paid by what’s app company, money that comes from my pocket as I foolishly waste internet hours on reading such messages?
I agree that one should not crib and cry at the drop of a hat and should try to find Happiness in proper venues. But I can’t take the crap that Happiness entirely depends on one own self. Cause if that had been the case, nobody would have looked for a partner to share their sorrows and Happiness, everyone should have lived alone or with anyone without a choice. But that’s not the case. Human beings are social beings, and we need each other for all our emotional states.
But then the question arises, how to handle being happy if the people around you are hell-bent on making you unhappy? Well, to get an answer, we must first understand what Happiness is. Let us get into the DNA of Happiness. Here’s my theory.
Happiness is like vitamin D. Human skin can make large amounts of vitamin D, mostly when lots of skin is exposed, and the sun is high in the sky. Our body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when our bare skin is exposed to sunlight.
Similarly, our Happiness is no doubt within us, but we can get Happiness we need by producing it when our bare heart is exposed to love and attention of people who matter to us or those we love. Simple. The more sun your skin bathes in the more vitamin D you get.
And that is the reason why despite thousands of such messages circling through all different kinds of social media, more and more people are suffering from depression. We aren’t all yogis and all ailments can’t be cured with great pieces of advice. It’s an excellent comfortable way to get away from your part of responsibility by pressing the send button and going your selfish ways.
However, all said and done, its also true that we can’t let others spoil our Happiness. So here again, the Vitamin D theory comes into play. For sunshine to activate your Vitamin D, you can’t wait for the sun to reach you. You will have to go where it is. Right? Similarly, instead of waiting for people to make you happy, go to them. Extend, compassion, understanding and care to those you think can activate the vitamin D of the Happiness inside you.
Look around you, and you will find things and other people around you in need of love and attention similar to you. Barter with them. Your old childhood passion is probably neglected, pull it up and nurture it. You never realized that an orphanage near you needs a mentor to spent time with them. Your teaching talent is wanted for a free school a few blocks away. I agree that for it you will have to go an extra mile, but believe me, that would be worth it. At first, they will be shocked. They are used to you begging for love and attention, and probably they enjoy that too. And your sudden indulgence in something else will make them uncomfortable and react weirdly. But don’t give up thinking all your efforts are getting wasted. They aren’t. They are just trying to lure you back to your miserable self. But stand firm and keep giving.
Stick on to your new enterprise with a smile and shower your sunshine on those deprived ones. And then see how much vitamin D sunshine you will get from them. But you must be careful while choosing whom you should go for the sun. Every individual is different and has varied needs. Therefore forcing or demanding sunshine from people not interested won’t help. Maybe they love you but are unable to give the kind of love you want due to their other priorities in life. You can’t coax love out of anyone. You won’t even enjoy the love that you will get that way, and only your bruised ego will get a balm. Instead, in the long run, it will further spoil your relationship.
If we stay adamant that we must get the type of love we want from that particular person who doesn’t have stock of the variety of affection we want, then we are doomed. How will the person who doesn’t have that themselves, will give? Even we might not have all that the other might need in exchange. Therefore, we must not crib all our life expecting attention we want only from our dear ones. There are many other ways to get tanned. And they are:-
1) Find out friends who make you smile: It’s proven that we are happiest when we are around people with whom you gel well.
2) Pamper yourself: And it doesn’t mean spending thousands in a salon or malls. There must be many little things that are inexpensive but might give you immense pleasure. Like growing a plant, reading a book, a good hair cut of your choice, or doing some craft or painting. Even sometimes, cooking what you like to eat might help. Don’t we mostly end up cooking things that others want to eat?
3) Do things you love: We bury all our childhood passions under the heavy sheets of duties. Carve a few hours for yourself and bring out those talents of yours for which you were once praised long back. Or fulfil a dream you once saw but couldn’t accomplish. Maybe it’s the right time and situation. You just didn’t realise it. Perhaps this will give you a purpose in life too.
4) Push yourself not others: Change your perspective. Blaming others won’t help. Remember even you are in others hit list. So, think smartly as to how you can change things about you to be happy. Push yourself a bit towards your wishes and attain them. The world would be yours.
5) Accept happiness: Many times out of ego or false self-respect, we don’t accept joy extended by dear ones. He didn’t come to me when I needed him, now he wants to spend time with me. Why should I give in? Let him sulk the way I did. Don’t. It’s a short life. Take it as it comes. I don’t mean that you should let other people exploit you. I don’t mean you should again start expecting such attention. But if possible, just enjoy the sunny days without attaching much emotion to it. It will at least fill your happiness quotient to some extent.
6) Forgive: Life is too short to entangle it with hatred. Carrying baggage of grievances won’t let us enjoy life to it’s fullest. We see the world in 2d as an elevation. If we could have been able to see like a bird’s eye view, we would have found why things happened the way they do. But we can’t do that. So let us rely on the fact that everything happens for some good, and forgive people who we think did wrong us. Maybe they actually didn’t. Perhaps that was a part of the bigger plan. So, forgive now.
7) Gratitude: It works honey. Take my word. And why not. You extend your love and care and help to people who thank you in return and appreciate you openly. The reverse is true too. If we appreciate and express our gratitude more vocally, the person would be bound you like you more. Also recognising others gives a lot of happiness. There is a definite feel-good factor in it.
8) Don’t let others exploit you: As I said before, also, do not let others take advantage of your emotional needs. Also, this gives rise to conditional love, which is not a healthy thing to live with. The person who loves you will love you even if you don’t rip off your skin for him or her.
I read a quote by Dalai Lama. Happiness is the highest form of health. And if we have learnt the art of being happy, we definitely have learnt one crucial art of living healthy.