If we took a survey asking “what is happiness” we would probably come up with all kinds of things. The simple fact is we all may define this in different ways. This is because not everyone finds happiness in the same ways or doing the same things. In most cases, all answers would fit in one of two categories. Relative or Absolute Happiness.
Let’s break down the two, shall we?
Relative happiness can be defined as a condition in which one’s material desires or immediate personal wishes are satisfied. For me, this is relatable from when I was unemployed with -$5 in my account. I can now remember thinking, I can’t wait to get a job and get the condo of my dreams downtown. Pulling up to the condo in the car of my dreams. Yes, when I get that, I’ll be so happy. Here I am four years later and the happiness that derived from attaining those things is gone. Yes, I’ll always be happy with my accomplishments but the high that I got from signing the closing documents on my condo downtown and the high from driving off in a 3 series coupe BMW are all gone. I can say that I was mature enough to know that materialistic things don’t bring long-term happiness but at some point, I got into my mind that I wasn’t happy because I did not have those things. I felt like my life was in shambles and if I could just get on my feet I’ll be happy.
Question: Would you rather have $1,000 when others around you have $10,000, or would you rather have $100 when those around you have $10. In fact, many people would prefer the latter. If your car is ten years old when your friends have new cars you might feel unhappy, but if none of your friends had cars you would more likely feel quite good about having an old, beat up vehicle. I drove the same truck for 10 years and was never bothered by it being an older model until I was indeed driving the oldest vehicle on most lots!!! I remember parking valet one night and there were lots of beautiful black women waiting on their cars. A Corvette, a Benz, a Tesla. Cute Cute Cute. Then here comes my 2001 Ford Explorer Sport with one headlight and a busted out tail light!!! Jesus be a fence!
We often compare ourselves to others in many ways and judge many of the variables of happiness in comparison with other people. When we say ‘rich’ we really mean ‘richer’, and when we say ‘happy’ we often mean ‘happier’.
While there is no limit to what we can hope or wish for, there is always a limit to what we can have materially and how long we can hold on to it. Like in my example, we may get something we want at this moment, but the fulfillment we enjoy from getting it will not last. Through effort and planning, we may develop and adjust our circumstances to our liking, thinking this is happiness. But should those circumstances change or disappear, so will our happiness. Such happiness is called relative because it exists only in relation to external factors.
Absolute happiness is Joy. You may have a grandmother in your life like I do that goes around singing, “this joy that I have, the world didn’t give it to me, the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.” Absolute happiness means that just being above ground is pure happiness; being alive is a joy, no matter where we are or what our circumstances bring us. It describes a life condition in which happiness exist from within. It is called absolute because it is not influenced by external conditions.
In simple, Absolute Happiness can be understood as an inexhaustible source of joy that exists within us. Irrespective of what we are going through on the outside, absolute happiness is there to last forever. If we work towards maintaining it. It can be attained as simple as doing meditation or understanding spirituality or perhaps following a spiritual master, following a good path in life; a proper way of living can render you absolute happiness.
In my current situation, I feel happy and know that if I have not fully arrived at absolute happiness I am on the brink. I don’t have it all figured out. Even the things I know I don’t really know them until I am forced to tap into them. Spending more time with self and truly embracing my own journey has helped me see the beauty in everyday life.
Tell me what your definition of happiness is. What are the things that are guarantees for a smile from you?
Let’s go through the week practicing these affirmations:
I win again and again in life.
I am alive, happy and healthy.
I have regained my trust and faith in life.