Sunday, August 14, 2005

Happiness

Last night K. was telling me imagine that you are building a really big, beautiful house with your partner. And you spend a lot of time & effort choosing everything for the house just the way you both love it. And you grow really attached to this house. It becomes your home. Then as soon as it's complete, before you've had time to enjoy it, your partner wants to move because they've seen another house they like better. Suppose that your partner does this over & over again?

The house here is a symbol for the relationship of course. And not our relationship. We were discussing why a friend of his & his wife just got divorced.

Happiness - for me at least - is not really a cloud that I float on. It's not something that descends on me. It's a constant peace process - a negotiation within myself which results in a lack of or a reduction in my inner conflicts. When it happens I feel pleasure & relief. It's a sensation of being unburdened - like great weights have been lifted off my shoulders.

So how do I achieve this conflict resolution?The bad news is I can't. At least not on a permanent basis. Because like everyone else my inner conflicts stem from interaction with forces outside myself. And they're not constant forces.So more often than not it's back to the negotiating table with myself & with new challenges & changes.

Of course not everyone is like that. Some of us are restless by nature. We invite new challenges in an almost compulsive way - so placing ourselves under more pressure & more conflict because when we have achieved happiness & equilibrium for a while we start to think what next?What else is out there?And we start to worry that we don't have all there is to have. We get bored & restless.

Others have more stable temperaments & so their periods of harmony & equilibrium last longer. They value stability more than adventure or ambition.

Of course I would place myself in the first group. And K. in the second group.

So does this mean that am going to be the one constantly wanting a new house - like K's friend?

Well everyone knows that I don't have roots. Am not the kind of person who gets attached to places or to jobs or to locations. But I do get very attached to people I love. Most of my close friendships are more or less lifelong. Am still in close touch with friends who moved away when we were in 6th grade or 7th grade.

And I discovered now that sometimes being around him when he's happy is enough to make me happy. Even if left on my own I'd be somewhere else doing something else.

Guess that yes I'd probably keep wanting new houses but only if my partner is ready to move with me. Wouldn't want to move alone.

But I also discovered that quite often am not as happy as he is. It's my basic restlessness. Not because I love him less or anything. He just has the ability to make his pleasures in life last longer than me. It takes more to worry him, upset him, bore him or make him dissatisfied than it does me. And he senses that. And sometimes it hurts him. When I become critical of something he enjoys or loves he reacts by not sharing it with me anymore. Especially when it's something we both used to enjoy then I got bored of for a while or something. If I remember & feel like doing it again sometime later I find him evasive or unwilling. I find that he would rather do it with other people. And THAT hurts me. It feels like I lost a privilege. And it tells me that even though he didn't say anything at the time, he was hurt & he hasn't forgiven me.

Are there limits to being yourself around your partner?Is it sometimes a good idea to 'fake' feelings & reactions?Have I gone too far in being open with him?

It's a typical state of being for me. Am happy in our relationship & with my life at the moment. But still what he said about his friend's divorce has me worrying about the future. And these occasional disconnections that we have sometimes also worry me.

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
Mohandas K. Gandhi

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6 Comments:

Blogger Gilgamish said...

sometimes being honest is like pointing the gun on your head.

but you know what, you should talk to him about this issue, it seems you both did not talk about it.

8/14/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

I think there are limits yes --unfortunately. Not to fake, but to hold back seems to be important at times.

8/14/2005 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Gilgamish,

But talking about it is being honest isn't it?

Simply put I like being around him. But this doesn't stop me from sometimes having occasional mood swings, anxiety attacks, attacks of restless, impatience with people or places while am with him. That's just the way I am.

8/15/2005 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Mohamed,

Yes I think sometimes you need to keep a smile on your face & act as if you are enjoying yourself.

Would do that with other people. Guess it was naive to think I didn't have to do it with him because we were too intimate, beyond politeness, formality etc.....No such thing as being too intimate for some things. Sad but true.

8/15/2005 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger zoss said...

mohandes is pretty smart.

8/16/2005 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger N said...

Happiness - for me at least - is not really a cloud that I float on. It's not something that descends on me. It's a constant peace process - a negotiation within myself which results in a lack of or a reduction in my inner conflicts. When it happens I feel pleasure & relief. It's a sensation of being unburdened - like great weights have been lifted off my shoulders.

what a spot on definition.

7/30/2006 03:12:00 PM  

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