Growing up, my definition of happiness was a fixed image of glam and success. An envisioned version of an older, wiser me with every aspect of my life sorted. Looks, money, relationship, family and health. A perfect destination to be arrived. I would spend my teenage and young adult life battling with extremely low self-esteem and confidence, all to hope that one day all my suffering and problems will dissolve. One day it all will be fixed. I’m sure so many people share these feelings. I understand how frustrating it might seem when things do not go the way you envisioned. It feels overwhelming, as if your whole existence is being challenged.
I had such fixed tunnel vision. I thought I could carefully pave out a perfect path to success and happiness. All I had to do was avoid any obstacles that might come my way. I was brought up in an environment where rigid rational thinking was praised. Creativity and interpretive thinking were deemed ‘fluffy’ and ‘not scientific’. I struggled so much with my self-identity and what to believe as the truth.
My previous rigid way of thinking stems from the belief that as long as I obey the rules of life dictated by our society, then I must deserve happiness and success. Life surely is fair? All the movies and books have taught me so. Overtime, the more I educated myself, the more life experiences I gained, the less I was sure of everything. From the knowledge of my textbooks to the functioning of our society, I felt so little, so clueless.
Sometimes a truly painful experience can make you question everything, throw out any preconceptions you had on the ways of this universe and forces you to look within. Through a lot of reflection, reading, meditation and learning, I’ve realised that my previous idea of finding happiness was deluded. Such thing can’t possibly ever exist, because life is constantly changing. The impermanence of our existence means that no possible projection of a future state of happiness can last. Happiness really isn’t a destination to be reached, but the journey of self-discovery. Only recently I feel like I have progressed from understanding the meaning of inner happiness on an intellectual level to actually experiencing it. I want to document this journey here on this blog and am delighted to have you here on this space.