I could be happy if only…….if only this, and this, and this……what would have to happen to allow me to be happy?
We are victims of a perfection-image mentality. That is, it seems as if we cannot be happy unless everything is perfect. That means all of our circumstances, all of our relationships, all of our surroundings and – heaven help us – we, ourselves, have to be perfect.
Wow! What a burden.
If we are really operating that way, we’ve pretty much put the limit on ever being happy. If happiness requires that circumstances, other people and we ourselves have to be perfect, well, we might as well resign ourselves right now that happiness is unattainable.
What do you think of that? Insert sad face emoticon. Yeah. It stinks, right?
I think that perfection is unattainable, by definition. And I also think it is a poor use of time and energy to keep on striving for something that is both unattainable and probably not even very useful if you could attain it. (What good would it be to me to be perfect for one day or one minute? The next minute I’d be back to striving…..ugh. Too tiring to think about). It makes sense to me to be OPEN to the possibility that happiness could happen regardless of your circumstances. It could happen regardless of whether your relationships are in right order or whether you are feeling perfect or utterly imperfect.
In fact, happiness often arrives when we are quite outside of ourselves, out of self-consciouness and awareness of our limitations and deep in self-criticism. Happiness arrives, like a spring day, and blesses us with a lifting of the spirit, a lightening of the body, an easing of tensions.
It is not a gift or reward for a perfectly clean house, perfectly made-up face, or perfect parenting. It comes like grace, like a breeze, like a zephyr…and it goes that way, too.
Let go, let down, let it be. And then see what happens. It would be a shame to miss moments of happiness because you were striving so hard to do more, be more. And when it comes, soak in the moment, relax in the sensations and deeply enjoy….and then let it go. Happiness is like that. You can cultivate it but you can’t make it stay.