Subtractive happiness: What’s left over when everything is cleared out of the way

Subtractive happiness.
Once again it comes back to the topic of happiness, what it means to be happy, content, satisfied, pleased.
The feeling that life is good, happy to live my life.
We all want this feeling.
And sometimes it feels like it’s a chase after happiness.
It’s a hunt.
We feel good sometimes, and then we stop feeling good, and then we want to find it again.
We want to reach that again.
So it’s so easy to fall into that mindset of just trying to grab happiness, trying to chase after it.
And yet it seems like one of the strange twists, almost like it’s making fun of us, the twist of the universe, that the more we try to chase something, the harder it is to get, and the more it seems to be constantly slipping away.
So somehow it’s like it’s something that we can’t really grasp.
It’s not something that we can hold on to as if it’s something in our hand.
It’s always changing, always moving.
So I’m always interested in different ways of looking at this whole notion of happiness, and what it means to be satisfied with life.
And one way to look at it is that happiness is not something to get, but it’s instead something that’s already there.
Of course, that sounds kind of trite since, if you’re not feeling happy, it’s not very helpful to be told that your happiness is always there.
But it’s sort of an inverse way of looking at it.
If you don’t feel happy, instead of feeling like “I am missing happiness.
I don’t have it.
I have to find it.
Maybe you could say it’s inside myself, OK, but I have to get it.
I have to find some way- I need to somehow get a hold of this thing that I now lack.
But instead, it’s possible to think of it as this is something that’s already there.
It’s like a default.
It’s a ground state.
It’s an automatic state.
That happiness, that sense of satisfaction, is what we have when we don’t have anything else in the way.
The things that make us not happy: it’s not that we’re missing happiness, or they take happiness away, but rather that they sort of cloud over it, they interfere with it, they distract from it.
So rather than seeing happiness as something to go out and get, it’s more a matter of cleaning away, clearing the window maybe, clearing out the clutter that blocks us from feeling that happiness.
And it’s hard for this to not sound really trite, because if you’re not feeling happy, to be told the happiness is inside you: meh, not always particularly comforting.
but it’s just a different mentality, to see that I don’t need to look for happiness anywhere else.
I don’t need to get it.
I’m not missing it.
It’s instead a matter of simplifying.
It’s a matter of removing things that interfere.
If I have certain negative thoughts that are clouding over my happiness, certain bad habits and patterns, either of my thoughts, my behaviours, that are just making it difficult or impossible to actually feel that simple happiness and satisfaction.
So it might still feel as far away as “Happiness is way over there.” Well, happiness could still be inside me, but it’s covered over by all these bad thoughts.
But I find when I think that way I just think a little bit differently about what happiness is, and it really helps me to focus on the idea of simplicity.
That really, I don’t need much at all.
And if I can clear out everything that is getting in the way, what I’m left with is a simple feeling of satisfaction and joy simply to be alive.

#simplelife #happiness #simplicity

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