It’s like pegs and blocks of wood.
It kinda depends what shape you are, what hole you should go through.
Happiness isn’t going to be one size fits all, and perhaps one thing that’s wrong with the world today is that we keep bashing the squares through the round hole. Nobody’s happy with their corners bashed off.
It sounds obvious, but it’s important to remember.
What is it for me?
I guess it’s like a sine wave. An undulating feeling, pulsing up and down, reverberating through my body. Swelling and growing. I feel it first in my lungs, and then it bursts outwards, in waves.
So maybe it’s more like an explosion, a shock wave.
When talking about the last happiness question to a friend, he pointed out that I seemed to be talking about contentment rather than happiness, and it’s important to know the difference.
Contentment is easy to shape. It is a circle. It is that feeling of wholeness that always seems to be represented best by the all encasing mandala of a circle. ‘The contained circle of an O.’ Contentment is feeling complete within the moment. It’s feeling whole and solid and existent.
If it isn’t the same as happiness, it is possibly better. More sustainable. Less explosive, which makes it less impressive, but so much more stable.
Which is why my shape for happiness kinda has to involve movement. Movement implies energy, which implies entropy (again).
So not only must happiness run out at some point. But it also bursts and waves and overwhelms.
I suspect contentment never takes control enough for it to damage others. But I suspect otherwise for happiness.
I’ve always been suspicious of the sense of entitlement in the US declaration of independence. Not because I think the colonials wasted a whole lot of tea unnecessarily in that Boston place, but because it enshrines ‘the pursuit of happiness’ as an inalienable human right.
I can’t see that not leading to conflict.
Happiness can come at the expense of others. Partly because it is like a drug, that makes the body want more. It is a hit. Contentment is much about being satisfied with your lot. But Happiness is a buzz that makes you want more.
I can’t believe it’s taken me such a short time to be negative about happiness.
I guess it’s potentially an extreme.
So I guess it’s all jaggedy lines and comic book explosions.
I return to the beginning.
You should put consideration into what shape the happiness you seek is.
Are you looking for something that could hurt someone else?
Or hurt you?
It’s possible. Possible that you are looking for the wrong shape.
But don’t ever think you are the wrong shape. For you aren’t. You are perfect. You are you.
You just need to find the right hole to fit through.
Keep on trying. And you’ll get it.
Illustration by Lucy.