Happiness and Living Authentically

Dan Pearce wrote another fantastic blog recently called Whose Life is it Anyway? The focus was living authentically. I re-posted it, because I felt it was well written. Shortly after that, a friend posted a rant about his resentment towards happy people, how they make the unhappy inept in living their lives fully, and a general “fuck you” to all folks “happy.”

Part of me wanted to blast back at the person. The timing was awfully coincidental, not to mention the frustration of watching a friend who has some very good qualities wallow in their negativity and refuse to help themselves. (Been there. Done it. Still have trouble with it. Still pisses me off in others. Is that hypocritical? You bet your ass it is. Welcome to human nature.)

Another part of me started thinking, remembering an article I read a long time ago about how pursuing happiness is making us miserable. It may have even been a video; a TED talk, or the one floating around from FORA.tv. Whichever it was, the case was made that because happiness is not sustainable, trying to pursue it as something sustainable is making people miserable. It’s something Kit and I have discussed at length; contentment, we decided, is a more realistic goal, and a lot less crazy-making.

So what do the two have to do with each other? Possibly nothing but the association. But it got me pondering about how I feel about my life right now.

I used to be very like that friend of mine. My life felt miserable, even with the good things that were happening at the time. I would complain, I would rant, I would berate myself. My friends would try to help, and I would make excuses as to why that wouldn’t work.  I stayed miserable until I finally got professional help. Occasionally I still visit that dark place, but I don’t live there anymore.

I often say that my life is amazing, and it is. I’m lucky in my kids, my partner, my friends. My blood family is what it is, and they do love me in their own way; my in-laws never fail to welcome and love me. I have the love and support of my Deities; I have work to help support us, and Work that fulfills me.

I will admit that I am not as content as I was. My life is currently in upheaval, which makes me enormously cranky. The difference now is that I’m actively working towards reaching contentment again; while that doesn’t mean peace (with Work, there’s no such thing), it does mean adjusting. I’m not adjusted yet. It’ll be a while, well after my Ordeal.

Contentment aside, I think I’m more “me” now than I’ve ever been. I struggled for a long time with that, trying to find an identity, any identity. After a lifetime of being a misfit of some kind or other, I’ve found my comfort in being a misfit. I’ve found that I’m not alone in being so, either, which helps. (I have a whole group of misfit friends. Sometimes we get together and scare the “muggles” by having loud conversations about mythology and/or sex in public. We’re awesome that way.)

So in the end… I’m living as me these days, not a shadow or an echo or a wish of me. I’m not content with it yet, but I will be.

About Fala

Fala Redwing is dedicated to Cernunnos as lover, submissive, and slave. A practicing Pagan since 2001 and a member of the BDSM community since 2006, Fala is an eclectic Witch and natural switch. Fala can be contacted at falaredwing@gmail.com.

2 thoughts on “Happiness and Living Authentically

  1. Sandy Clark says:

    Years ago, I read a book called “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In it he talks about the happiness you achieve from being totally involved in something. Its not the bubbling emotion so many people associate with happiness. Instead its the suspension of time, the freedom of complete absorption in activity. That quiet knowledge of accomplishment.

    IMHO we can’t achieve the giddiness all the time, and that is what so many people mean by happiness. But the satisfaction of a job well done? The looking up at a clock and wondering where all that time went while I was so absorbed in my project? Those goals are sustainable for me.

  2. Eric S says:

    Yes, I am seeing a lot of this in myself. I also find myself saying work and “Work” a lot. But even when I hit a valley, the berserk laugh when I come back up or hold a loved one or watch something is just amazing. Go us.

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