…”and that’s what happiness is…”
…says a song from a while back now…. It’s a feeling of wholeness or “balance” and not disconnected from our deepest sexual sensations; the vibrations of these feelings are similar.
Happiness is a state of mind. Let’s call this the “spiritual” side of things. Happiness is also intertwined with our real world events or experiences. Let’s call this the physical or material side.
We have some capacity to influence the trajectory of our emotion-feelings by reverse engineering. This influence is derogatorily called “brainwashing” and otherwise dubbed conditioning, self-talk, even prayer.
The world is awash in programs to help us feel better through “talk” therapy – the power of the word (repetition) and social bondings (relationships) to up or down regulate modules of cellular reactions that convey to us “feelings” of pleasure or peace. Pleasure is a more intense visceral expression of the lighter and more sustainable feeling of peace. A sense of optimism about our lives, the feeling that all is well and will go well for us… it is the feeling of fearlessness or safety and enthusiasm. It is the force of life itself – dancing.
Our external circumstances DO impact us – only saints or sickos can disassociate their mental and physical or life (experience-based) sense of well-being (happiness). Simply put, the worse your life’s real conditions (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) the increasingly harder it becomes to mentally override real threats to your survival. Yes, it is hard to smile when you’re facing the big black bear. Fixing real issues whenever possible is a must both for having more life in terms of “stuff” and more life in terms of your sense of self.
BALANCE then, becomes the watchword and thought without action is actually not an option – as we work on internal mechanisms (meditation, happy thought practices) of happiness, we must also begin a regimen for external representation (exercise, financial constraints, changes in what we DO or how we act). But balance requires notions about the meaning of both our feelings and the words we use to portray our feelings.
It is important to remember that WORDS are solid representations of fluid conditions – they are our effort to turn waves into particles and verbs into nouns, to better identify and experience them via intellectual means because we LABEL them. I bring that up because you tell me: where is the boundary for any word? Where and when exactly does I’m OK move towards contentment, then on to really satisfied, to I feel really good, to all is great, to intense passion, and orgasmic or heavenly bliss? Words are our way of organizing the world so that we can deal mentally with it – culturally dominated lingo. Language is a primary human tool – but a complex tool that changes us even as we change it.
BOTTOM LINE: We are the authors of our own stories, both when we act them out in youth and when we rewrite them in our memories…
Practice writing your story and read what you have written – then go and edit what you must – you know what to change.
…and cover your teeth when you growl.