I'm bipolar. I blog about it. I also blog about sex, theology and atheology, funny shit and sad shit, books, music, feminism, and love. Mostly love.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Deciding to Be Happy

It's that easy really. It's no different than deciding to wear flats as opposed to flip flops or to read instead of play video games. We spend a lot of time convincing ourselves that emotion is a matter of conditions and that God helps us to find happiness. Only through Him can we find true happiness. And I believed that. I really did. I thought spirituality and fixing everything in my life would make me happy. So I tried to always get things right. I tried to get everything done all the time on time, I tried to be on-time everywhere I went, I tried to make everyone happy, I tried to be perfect.

Now I call bull shit.

Happiness came from within me. It was just a realization. I cannot base it on God; because of that I'm uncertain. I need something a little more substantial. The God that could make me happy was also the God that put me in a position in which I felt the pain for which I was asking relief. That was too complex a circular argument for me to really see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And perfection? It's impossible. The people I wanted to emulate were also imperfect. And many of my "imperfections" were rather insecurities. Every person has a purpose. Every person is unique and important. And I don't need a divine plan to believe that. I just do. I assert that every person wants to do the right thing. Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but it's a genuine belief of mine. And it's one I cannot abandon, no matter what system of Truth I do or do not adhere to. I have chosen to love without condition--especially those who have felt the slap of condition in play. It's stupid. I love you, dammit. I do. All of you, because you're all important.

And so am I. I cannot believe that every person has importance and value and include the greatest offenders yet not include myself. And on that point: I said without condition, and I meant it. But I do not mean that I do not get angry. I get angry all the time. I get sad all the time. But I'm careful about what I choose to be angry or sad about. I choose to be angry when someone has purposefully hurt me or another. I choose to be sad when I see suffering. I think we need to be angry and sad. But again, I choose to be. I could be numb instead, but I don't think that accomplishes much. Maybe nothing accomplishes anything. Maybe there is some "divine plan" that will play out no matter my decisions. But I have no reason to believe that. So instead I focus on what I can do to make the world a better place. I focus on being just angry enough to be a soldier on the side of good. I am just sad enough to empathize with people in pain. (<--Those apply to myself as well. Things happen to me to make me angry and sad. Obviously.) But I am happy enough to grasp tightly to that weighted word, the word of the moment: hope. I am happy enough to believe that happiness is possible for everyone who is informed enough to see it.

I love everyone because I want everyone to find this palpable happiness as I have. I genuinely care that everyone gets there. Even the hardest people to love... it is no effort. I've simply decided to love them in spite of their flaws. Because who ever got better by being sad? Who ever got better by condemnation? Hm?! The world won't get better until we love regardless of a person's flaws... especially those "flaws" that are unimportant: "She stole my boyfriend." "She wore the same prom dress as me." "He likes Justin Bieber?!" "He was lookin' at my girl." <--I believe those are just distractions. They are distractions from a person's own unhappiness. They are not problems that really mean anything to a person's life or happiness. It's so easy to pick on those things that don't matter to give your life a little more meaning--to make yourself right and better in some capacity; when all you've done is harm yourself. You've distracted yourself from self-discovery, afraid of what you might find.

And here's a little secret from a former-self-loathing-depressed-chica: You are just fine. If you really look at yourself, there's nothing there that's that scary. If you decide before you walk in, that you're going to love yourself regardless of what you find, and that fixing anything you aren't proud of is as easy as putting on a damn pair of flip flops, then you're going to be okay. Addiction is as easy as treatment and self-love. Arrogance is as easy as humility... and a greater sense of self-love. (I have a theory that most arrogant people pretty much hate themselves as much as most people.) Everything is as easy as a decision, and the decision is as hard as you make it.

You know. I used to say I was a humanist and a realist. I used to think those contradicted, which was hard on me, because I believed two things that put me at war with myself. But I wasn't sure how to define that contradiction, so in order to prove my point, I looked up humanism in the dictionary.

"A variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of a belief in God."
I kind of laughed when I read it. I don't think I'd ever actually known what all of that really meant. I just agreed with a lot of humanists whom I'd read quotes by on captioned photos on the internet. I seriously need to do my homework more. But it wasn't funny because I hadn't really known the definition. It was funny because I didn't fit the description until I'd felt unsure enough to look it up. There was a special kind of irony there that I simply could not overlook.

I had initially decided not to look up the definition of realism, but later went back to do that. I found this:
"Interest or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished from the abstract, speculative, etc."

So, as I understand it, it's completely semantics as to whether or not these can coexist harmoniously. So I'm still going to say I'm both. Because I believe that things are as they are. They are not cosmically inspired or magically created to pave a road to a greater life. I believe firmly that things occur in our life not for any reason, but that reason comes from things that occur. God did not make Kairyn born without fingers. Genetics did. There was no good reason for that. But now that she has her beautiful, scarred fingers to show us, she's going to teach us a lot about strength, acceptance, and the capacity for cruelty in our elementary school children. I choose to believe that she has given us a gift with her trials, and not that her trials were a gift.

And that is the secret of happiness. I don't look for a reason for occurrences. I don't look to a plan for the future. I focus on here and now. One foot in front of the other. I'm worried about where I am and the people I'm with. I'm interested in what they have to teach me. I'm interested in what these people say and believe and do in spite of those. I want to make people happy, not by altering myself, but by showing them how easy that decision is. I want to introduce hope to a blind populace. That is my responsibility and I accept it wholeheartedly.


kyle gene said...

I commit to making the decision to be happy. I will also take on the responsibility of showing others how to do so.

You have so much to say here. So much insight. And determination :)

Karmon said...

This has been a real pick-me-up. I'm definitely in a position to make this decision today, and I'm glad to have been introduced to the idea. Thanks.

Cypress said...

Beautiful post.