In pursuit of happiness

16 Apr 2016

Does seeing other people happy make us question our own happiness? I believe it does if we consciously think about it.

As a child I was always looking at other people. Not to judge or look at what they had, I wasn’t interested in that, but looking at how happy they seemed, made me realise how unhappy I was. They could have had their own issues going on, but outwardly they looked happy.

We can see and think we understand, but the reality is that what we think we see means we can never truly know, it’s just how we see things looking at others. The reality for most of us is that it never would, not that it never could. Every day we live with hope that we will come to feel differently that things will change, but they never do.

Looking back, I now understand the correlation but in my own case and given that I was dealing with physical and emotional impairments, it was up to my family to put it right for me.

That didn’t happen, but in pursuit of happiness, for me it would take me many years to know that it was me that needed to change.

8 Responses to “In pursuit of happiness”

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  1. Brad 16. Apr, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    Other people’s happiness has never had an impact on me. As a child things were really poor at home, but that just meant I needed to spend as much time as possible out of the house and to move away as soon as I could.

    I never looked at things in terms of mine or other’s happiness. I was too busy minimising the impact of the craziness at home.

    Having children has of course had a tremendous impact and I see my job as a parent to try and ensure my children’s happiness. Seeing them happy and settled makes me proud and very happy.

    • Ilana 16. Apr, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

      This is exactly what your parents should have done for you but didn’t, but as long as we all change it for our own children, we will have rewritten history.

      That said we must concentrate on ourselves too. I have come to learn that it’s not enough to put things right for our children, we have to find what makes us happy too.

      It stands to reason that if as parents we’re not happy, our children won’t be either. It starts and ends with us.

  2. Randy 17. Apr, 2016 at 4:04 am #

    Happiness wasn’t something we got to experience as children, since we most certainly never had a sitcom kind of life!

    We used to watch shows like ‘The Brady Bunch’ and ‘Happy Days’ and I wondered why it was that we couldn’t have a life like they did, We were forced to depend on people for our happiness that couldn’t even make themselves happy, let alone take make their own children happy.

    It left in me a legacy of waiting for someone or something to make me happy which will never happen. I have had to accept that fact, even though my inner child still cries out for what will never be. My biggest regret is that I wasted most of my life not fully realizing that if I actually wanted to be happy, I would have to do it myself.

    They expected us to make them happy so it isn’t any wonder that I didn’t learn how to do it for myself! They made us feel guilty for wanting to do anything for ourselves. They tortured us in their own special ways if we didn’t do their bidding, so it isn’t any great surprise that I stopped even trying!

    This is why I have come to loathe those annoying expressions like, they did the best they could with what they had. No parent in their right mind would treat their kids the way they did, so I find myself almost unable to forgive them.

    I just want to be able to finally feel happy without feeling so depressed and suicidal because of it!

    • Ilana 17. Apr, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

      Thanks Randy. I’ve had that said before, but I always felt it was a cop out.

      It didn’t matter the parenting, we can parent a certain way, but not be responsible for how we parent. We are very much responsible for how we parent. We just have to make sure we parent right, so that our children can be happy.

      All we can do as adults is change the way we do things for ourselves and our children. Like you I cannot turn back the clock, but I can change what I do now.

      You owe it to yourself, we all do, to change certain aspects of our lives so that we can be happy. You deserve to have that instead of feeling so depressed. I’m routing for you.

  3. Tim 17. Apr, 2016 at 6:53 am #

    Happiness may be beyond my comprehension, so it probably requires some really heavy thinking since material things and status didn’t insulate me from unhappiness.

    Or should I be hopeless when it comes to happiness, since I don’t know what it really is?

    • Ilana 17. Apr, 2016 at 8:21 am #

      Thanks Tim. Happiness is a soulful thing. It clearly comes from the soul. When we clear the soul of our baggage and issues that we constantly carry, we will reach the pinnacle of happiness, which is why more often than not, we very seldom reach it.

      Happiness is often replaced by material things. We genuinely believe that accumulating things in our lives will make us happy, but sadly they do not. There is a difference.

  4. Bonnie Strickland Johns 19. Apr, 2016 at 7:01 am #

    Hi Ilana and great blog! I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve been on here.

    I think it’s natural for us as human beings to compare our lives to others. I do it all the time unconsciously, especially as a parent and to people who have succeeded with careers and following their dreams.

    You’re right, its only up to us to change that.

    • Ilana 19. Apr, 2016 at 7:14 am #

      Thanks Bonnie. No thank you! You’re always welcome. I think you’re right, it is natural for us to compare, but can’t help think it’s more to do with our lack of confidence and achievement than for comparing sake.

      The more successful we become the less we compare or follow the Jones’. The less we compare and draw comparisons, the happier we are.

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