This journey I have found myself on for the past 6 years started out as a reclamation of my health; a way to regain that something I seemed to had lost since leaving the Navy after 10 years. It has had its ups and downs in the time span, both physically and mentally, but what I am discovering now is that it is much more than finding health or trying, in vain, to recapture youth. That will never happen. No matter who you are the basic fact is that age catches us all.
No, what I find myself trying to capture now is happiness.
The definition of BLISS? Complete Happiness.
I really don’t know what bliss is, let alone happiness. We have been talking about “happiness” on the podcast recently a bit, and how happiness is often misconstrued as pleasure. In his recent book (“The Hacking of the American Mind”), Robert Lustig discusses this issue quite a bit. We, as a race, have confused the two issues and have started to believe that seeking pleasure makes us happy. While this is true, pleasure is short-lived, while happiness is continuous.
I have thought a lot about this lately as well, and the sobering truth is that I have had pleasure, and I have experienced bliss, but I am not sure I have ever been truly happy. I have thought I was at times, have tried to convince myself that I was, but looking back I wonder if I had compromised my core self to BE happy instead of really BEING happy.
I know …
I just read that last part too and have NO idea what I mean either.
I have been accused (not sure if that is the right word but I am sticking with it) lately of wanting perfection, of not being able to accept that things aren’t always going to be perfect. That might be true to some extent, but here’s the thing…
In the first part, I do not want perfection. I like things different at times. Being in a situation or with someone you agree with ALL the time is boring after awhile, but being able to accept those differences without anger is a whole other kettle of fish. I do not like … chaos … of arguing for the sake of arguing … at all. I like to be able to discuss issues, and even disagree on issues, calmly and rationally. I am fully aware that not all of my personal views or values are going to be agreed with, and I am OK with that. I fully acknowledge that things I say on the show will be seen as “wrong” or at best misguided, and that’s OK. Let’s discuss the disagreement logically. I have had my mind changed on issues many times when presented with facts and logic. What I do NOT like is feeling that everything I do or say is under a microscope. Walking on eggshells has never been fun for me. I just removed myself from a long relationship because I always felt like I was tiptoeing through life, so to put myself back in any situation where that might be the case again is just not going to work for me for very long.
Some of the issues are the past. No matter what anyone says, you are made up of the sum of your experiences, both bad and good, and people and situations in your present are going to be held up as a comparison whether you do it consciously or not.
“Everyone is a little bitter. We’re born bitter. The personality itself is really just a very complex defense mechanism. A reaction to the first time someone said, “No you can’t.”
― Marc Maron,
No, it is not fair to hold people accountable for the sins of others, but we all do it. I try not to, but I inevitably catch myself at times doing it. And I don’t like it.
But here is the thing…if you are in a relationship, or working at a job, that continuously reminds you of bad things in your past, maybe that’s a bad sign in of itself right? Maybe it is your mind telling you it’s time to find a new job. Your feelings or gut reactions are not always wrong.
I have also been told that I am a very complex person and hard to get to know. I am not sure I agree with that either. I think I wear my heart on my sleeve about a lot of things. And I tend to share a bit too much of myself and my past very quickly, so am I hard to get to know? I don’t think so. Am I complex? Maybe, but if you had gone through the crap I have you might be also. I have not been close to many people in my life, and those I have let in and become close to have inevitably gotten tired of my BS after awhile. Some take days, others years, but it always happens. And here’s another thing about that … I don’t feel I am a bad person … I have had some seriously effed up things happen to me in my 54 years and I am still standing and moderately capable of having friends, loves, education, and a profession. So I think I am OK.
“We’re all carrying around some shit. When you hear the things people have gone through and realize you’ve gone through the same, it provides an amazing amount of relief. It give us hope. And I think that’s what we’re supposed to get from each other. The hope that, maybe, just maybe, we’re going to be okay. Maybe.” ― Marc Maron,
I am going to be fine in the end. I like what I have built and continue to build with the podcast, the group, the blog. I like who I am as a person, even with warts and bruises. I think I have something to offer in the time I have left in this world, and maybe that’s what it all comes down to in the end. Maybe THAT is what happiness is. The belief, the feeling, that you have left something good when you are gone.