There is an interesting conception of happiness that is about. There is often a consideration relating happiness to a feeling one should strive for. In our imagination that we must strive for happiness, the, perhaps untenability of that goal, perpetual happiness, leads us ironically further from that state, even fleetingly. I propose that a development away from the ideal of happiness towards one of contentedness be the path most auspicious toward consistent good-feeling.
   If I think of the moments I have felt “happy”, if I attempt to recall the moments in which I felt pure joy, I’m libel to find them few and far between. However, I consider myself a rather content person. Happiness is but one emotion I expect to feel throughout the day. And that is ok.
    Long term discipline is a goal I have for myself. I find a feeling of satisfaction where others often feel joy in completion of a goal. There is almost no situation I can immediately recollect that is a feeling of pure happiness. Yet I remember many moments that others may classify as happy that I consider ‘things coming together’. Graduations, good GPAs, good friends, live music, these are things that have felt enjoyable in the moment. Perhaps they were things I couldn’t even wish had gone better. Yet, if I had imagined these moments, and not the simpler ones also, watching funny YouTube videos, or running around with my dogs, as the ones in which I was ‘happy”, or if I had considered the lack of euphoric joy in any of those situations as unemblematic of a ‘happy’ situation, then my skewed standard for myself and my composite experiences would disable me from feeling the truest, and most satisfying emotion derived from all those disperate experiences, which is, for me – contentment.
   However, I do recognize that an inability to judge in terms of moments of happiness, and alternatively only see moments of contentment, mutes a bit of the dynamicism possible in given moments. I do though also believe the perspective shift towards contentment does allow for a benchmark consideration of all emotions percievable and gives a bit of grace to the moments we all feel of sadness, loneliness, anxiety,  and all the other unpleasant emotions.
    Recognizing we may not be doing great, yet things could be worse, and that though one may not have what one desires there are many things to be thankful for, allows one to shifts a bit more briskly through the trials life throws our way. That is not to say that there aren’t moments to not shift from. Some grief and hurt is to be sat in, and many times in pursuit of happiness one is tempted to push down and away the feelings that are the most raw to us. However, in looking towards contentment there is a searching, not for happiness at all times, a word related to positivity sometimes unwarrented in our worse moments, but for a step up from what has happened to us. A searching for support, a reaching out, a connection, a vulnerability and acceptance that though one is not ok today perhaps one may become a bit better tomorrow.
    There’s a lot of pressure to be happy. Lack of happiness seems, to a lot of us, to be a major source of additional unhappiness. Yet if we take stock of what we have, where we are, who we are, and what we’ve done however small to improve our conditions and those of the ones around us, perhaps there is an ability there to know that there is a way to be just, OK.


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