I have a friend, we will call him Harry, and we were talking the other day and he was speaking about his tendency to think that happiness and peace and contentment exist outside him. This is a persistent delusion for so many of us. That happiness is something that can be bought, loved, dated, fucked, eaten or obtained somewhere outside of our bodies, minds and lives...
Spoiler alert - it can’t.
Happiness is not something that can be bought and sold, or comes from anyone else, an outside source.
So Harry was talking about his ever evolving relationship with happiness and how persistent his delusion that there is one thing in this world that will make him happy, permanently.
Fuck, could I relate to that! Like to the core of my being.
For Harry, he decided one night, if he just had this Winnie the Pooh earring, his life would be complete, well and he would suffer no longer...
Now, Harry is a smart man, and he knew on some level his thoughts were fallacious...but still in the grip of the moment, he was possessed in an almost demonic way, the kind of occupation that possesses you to put it in your Amazon cart and then hit purchase. But he didn’t this time. He has grown, matured and developed the ability to sit with these compulsive feelings that something, anything outside of him will make him whole and complete.
Good news is that Harry didn’t succumb this time. Sadly, no Winnie the Pooh earring for him. He got to keep the money in his bank account and the Winnie the Pooh trifle remains completely still available on Amazon should you fall prey to this particular delusion.
Here are some of the ways I have attempted to gain happiness from sources other than inside myself...
Any fucking retail store around the globe (Thanks Etsy)
Not buying things
Saving for things
Spending for things
Taking a trip
Not taking a trip
The list is really endless, sadly.
And all that activity, all that busyness comes from one source, that place within me that feels inadequate or incomplete. And from there springs all kinds of cravings and ideas like “if I just had ______ THEN I would be fucking happy!”
Nope. Inside job. All the time, every time.
I am coming to see the wisdom, now I would have liked to have fucking learned this lesson ages ago, but I think for not just me, but most of us, we learn it, practice it, forget it and then have to circle back and learn it again. Now, it is always the same lesson, but we kid ourselves with all the different facets on this particular lesson. allowing us to believe that we are perhaps making more progress than we actually are...
When I feel whole and complete, I need add nothing else. Not a new eye liner, dress, pillow for my bed or couch, I am complete as I am. Flaws and all. I am immune to seeking outside shit to make me happy because I am living in the "soul-ution."
I have a developing mantra for times when I am tempted to think that those shoes, that guy, a Winnie the Pooh earring call to me like sirens on Odysseus’ Odyssey.
“There is nothing I can add to myself that I can find outside myself that will make me whole, or complete, or better. Everything I need to improve, better enjoy, love, live is already inside me. It is here in the last place I ever want to look, inside myself. But I have tried all the other ways, with mixed and varied results...and I have found them all wanting, repeatedly...so I have decided to not be fooled by myself any longer. When I want that person, place or thing, I am going to instead repeat the following...Everything I want, need, desire comes from the inside work I do. The pain I rifle through, the trauma healed, the heart mended. I have done the work. Now I can reap the reward...and that begins right now where I do not kid myself into thinking that this thing that I so desire will only bring a temporary fix, which only begets more desires of the same.”
Or in short form - “I don’t need a fucking Winnie the Pooh earring to make me happy.”