For the past few years, I have spent most of my time as happy and carefree as could be.
There was a period in which I was living exactly the life I wanted to. By all appearances, everything was well and good. Yet whenever something would go wrong, that happiness would crumble faster than a week old cookie.
It crumbled because it was superficial and dependent on my immediate surroundings. At the end of the day, I wasn’t truly, deep-down content.
I wasn’t truly happy due to one simple fact: I felt entitled to happiness.
When my joy was stripped away from me I felt angry and frustrated. My thoughts were I have had such a difficult life, it’s my turn for happiness! I have sacrificed so much for others and never asked anything for myself, it’s not fair! Or any variation on those sentiments.
Alas, happiness is not something that is gifted upon us by some all knowing Good Deeds Counter that dispenses happiness when we put enough selfless acts into it. True happiness comes when we find positive thinking within ourselves, and stop relying on the rest of the world to give it to us. No matter how good or selfless we are, if we get pissed off every time something goes wrong, all we are doing is creating a mass of negativity for ourselves, thus orchestrating our own unhappiness.
When we feel and act entitled to happiness, we are essentially putting the pressure on somebody else, or the world at large, to make us happy, rather than doing it for ourselves. Learning the difference between “good mood” and “happy” was one of the most life changing realizations I’ve ever had. It may seem so simple, so obvious, but for many of us it’s not. I’m in a good mood because things are going well in my life, is not the same as Things are going well in my life and that is great, but during the difficult times I am still happy with who I am.
Life isn’t fair. Period, end of discussion. If we are good people, life is not going to suddenly become fair.
Life does not owe us anything.
Nobody owes us anything.
When we can truly accept this idea, get over ourselves and stop waiting for our big Karma check to come in the mail, then we can truly begin our pursuit of happiness.
Entitlement can be an ugly beast. It prevents us from being happy for others, it prevents us from putting in hard work where it’s needed and it blinds us from what we really need to do for ourselves in order to get where we need to be.
When we stop resenting the world, we may just find that it is a much easier place to live in.
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Apprentice Editor: Chrissy Tustison / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Alexis O’Toole via Flickr