I've recently become aware that I have spent the majority of my life buying into false pretenses of happiness. Well, some of them have just been shallow pretenses, others completely false. Examples of shallow happiness are: being happy because someone tells me i'm cute, being happy when someone buys me something, etc. Shallow pretenses of happiness are common and fairly harmless, I guess. It's not necessarily a bad thing to feel some sort of elation when you get a compliment or when you are surprised with a gift. Those things kinda make life a little more sparkly, you know? As long as you don't get entirely wrapped up in seeking those shallow moments out and making them the most important things in the world.... it's okay.
False pretenses, on the other hand, are all bad. They're also the hardest to let go of. An example of a false pretense of happiness is a bit more complex to describe. Think about a relationship that may appear to be healthy and happy from an outsiders perspective. But within the privacy of four walls, the relationship is on the brink of misery but the two ppl involved just dont know how to let go because they are all each other knows and without one another they swear they'll be unhappy. This is such a common false pretense of happiness. Happiness that is dependent on another person. On a lofty desire for a perfect relationship.
For myself, I have been caught up in selfish false happiness. I am the baby in my family. My siblings are 13 and 15 yrs older than me. I was spoiled. I was used to being the center of attention. And I was used to getting my way. This turned into me being a somewhat entitled adult. I thought I should get whatever I wanted, everyone should listen to me, things should go MY way and I should be able to do whatever I wanted to do and not be questioned about shit. My self-centered double-standard perception = happiness to me for the longest of time. You know, the whole ignorance is bliss mindset. Then I reached my early 20's and slowly but surely I was introduced to reality. God only knows how long I would've stayed in that fog of blind selfishness mistaking my vanity, conceit and rudeness as happiness. smh.
So now i've grown past that phase. But that leaves me wondering...what is happiness? How is it achieved? How do we know if its the real thing? Im left wondering if I have ever truly experienced being happy in my own skin. Happy with myself first and foremost. Then happy with my relationship, friendships, professional life, etc. What does it feel like? Is it something that lasts forever once you find it or does it ebb and flow depending on life and circumstance?
I'm a little bit overwhelmed with feeling as if I may never know the extent of my own happiness because I dont even know what i'm looking for....