Elbow: Happiness

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


All this talk about happiness has led me to ponder my own views and philosophy of what it means to be happy or to find happiness. It just so happens that I picked a good day to do that, because right now I feel exceptionally happy.

I feel really good today. I feel happy, I feel at peace with myself, with life, and with what I am trying, or not trying to accomplish.

Looking back at the times when I wasn't feeling so happy, I can say that I notice that I somewhat of a lazy person, and I complain very easily when things are hard and not necessarily going my way. I have also realized that I'm very whinny, and I don't know how any of you have come back to read more, because the incessant complaining and whining is enough to make anyone throw their hands up in frustration at my saturated murmurings.

I masturbated yesterday. I was feeling very frustrated and tired. I was getting overwhelmed with things I had to do, and I was thinking too much about myself and not about the blessings I have in my life. The habit of looking at porn and masturbating is intensely strong. It's something that, once it becomes a habit, it occurs without warning or thought. It's mindless and completely run by the auto pilot side of the brain. That's kind of scary. I mean, shouldn't it at least be thoughtful instead of lacking any thought whatsoever? I guess that's just how it goes for me.

Regardless of my track record, today is a new day and I am resolved to not give attention to porn or masturbation anymore. I know and recognize that the road will be hard. I also recognize that I might sound a little ridiculous because I've made this promise more than once and have come back with failure written all over my entries, but these things take time. I am willing to admit that it's not going to be easy, and that it's something I have to work hard for.

Anyway, I don’t want this entry to be about p & m. I want it to be about how for once, I am not whining, and that I feel happy and grateful to be alive.

I don't think happiness is about being fulfilled, although that helps a great deal. And I don't think that happiness comes from being aware and from learning. I know plenty of really low functioning people, who have down syndrome, or other mentally challenging disabilities who are as ignorant and happy as anyone on the planet. But even that isn't the cause of happiness. What happiness is to me is a choice. I really believe that through life, and through our existence, that happiness is a choice. Sometimes it's better to choose to be sad because that's what we need to feel in order to heal and mourn. Sometimes we need to be angry because that is part of the process of communication and letting out negative energy, and sometimes we need to feel bored and lethargic. We can succumb to the whims of the chemicals in the body, or we can search them out and put them into action. Choose to be happy, and choose to allow yourself to be happy when you need to be, and not when you don't need to be.

I don't know if that's true or not. I think there is more to be said on the subject, but for now, I feel good about that. I feel happy today, and I didn't even choose to, I just am and I think a lot of it has to do with the sleep I got and what I've been eating. But at the same time I have been making an effort to forget about what I can' change, and to focus on what I can, maybe by doing that I have made myself a little happier.


Blogger -L- said...

Love the post. I'm behind on your blog (and all the blogs I usually follow) so I'm glad I caught this one.

I think happiness is a choice only in that it is a result of other choices. I don't buy the self-help line that you can be happy by sitting up straight, smiling, and thinking your way there. I mean, that may help your mood, sure, but I don't think that fits my definition of happiness. Happiness is more visceral and indistinct than that. More basal.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

I'm truly glad that you're happy and that you seem to be getting things together, even if there are setbacks along the journey.

I prefer the scriptural term "joy" and try to seek that in what I do and how I live my life. I feel joy when I am helping others, creating something positive at work, or recognizing and appreciating miracles in family and marital relations.

Right now I'm doing a rotten job at allowing or helping "joy" to find me.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Gay LDS Actor said...

I agree, happiness is a choice. I'm glad you were happy today. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I love it that you're happy today. Everyone deserves that--YOU deserve that.

I stole your blue eyes. Please don't sue me.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved that post and needed to read it tonight. Thank you. I think sometimes we focus so much on putting a smile on our face and not really allowing ourselves to feel what we need to feel so we can get to the other side. Thanks again.

1:16 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

It's ironic that the sign that is pictured in your post has a butterfly on it("mariposa" is the Spanish word for butterfly and is also slang for a gay person) while you've decided that happiness in your life means choosing not to live as a mariposa. I hope everything works out for you.

5:09 PM  

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