In our society, we get very caught up in thinking about whether or not we are “happy.” Pursuing it with abandon. Leaving jobs, and friendships, and marriages, when our happiness level doesn’t seem like it’s high enough. Self-help books and magazines, as well as websites, tell us we should be happy and that if we’re not, we should shed ourselves of everything that doesn’t match up.
Only a few decades ago, this would have been a fantasy. People were busy making a living, working long days, struggling to have enough money to put food on the table. They weren’t as focused on their own happiness as they were on simply getting through each day. Leaving a job or a marriage wasn’t realistic. I’m not saying we need to go back to those days. Obviously, education and enlightenment is a good thing. And I don’t believe in staying in a toxic relationship, or a job or marriage that is detrimental to our health. But most of us are not in that situation, and there is something to be said about sticking it out. Loyalty and patience are often rewarded when we do.
Happiness is elusive. Like a butterfly, the harder you chase it, the harder it is to catch. Sometimes we need to stand still and let it land. And sometimes, if we are willing to do that, to actually stand still, we realize that it was sitting on our shoulder all along.