I have this notion, or maybe it’s an expectation, a hope, of being happier over time. I guess it’s the idea of “making progress” in my happiness journey. Yet when it comes to happiness, I’m not sure the idea of progress is the best analogy. I’m not sure happiness proceeds in a forward-moving, linear way. It’s not like building a house or running a marathon, in which you can tell where you are at any moment towards completing the goal. Maybe happiness is more like an “on-off” switch. After all, it could be argued that you are either happy or not. Or in Abraham terms, you are either in alignment or not. The key is to learn how to switch “on.” 😉
Maybe happiness is more like a continuum, a range with different shades of “happy.” The reminds me of the Emotional Scale, as described by Abraham. In it, Happiness and high-flying emotions like Joy and Love are at the top. At the bottom are heavy emotions like Depression and Unworthiness. It is normal for people to move about the Emotional Scale, even many times a day as their moods change. I am learning to tune more and more into where I am on it. For instance, at this moment, I am calm, content, and enthused. This is high on the Emotional Scale. 🙂
These days I see happiness less as a goal to arrive at, and more of a range to aim for. I lean towards the better feelings as I aim to be higher on the Emotional Scale. There are days where I might be in an especially high-flying mood, when I’m more in tune with happiness. It could be days like yesterday where I just had a really nice time composing. Or it could be an important event or activity, like running my first marathon, or going to a Film Festival in Nevada City a week ago. These are “peak experiences” we all have from time to time, in which positive emotions run high, often for sustained lengths of time.
Yet does one really get “better” at being happy? Can one master it? An intention to be happy will probably produce more happy experiences. I certainly feel that I am happier overall now than I was in the past (with the possible exception of childhood). After all, these days I spend the bulk of my time either doing things I enjoy, or chilling out until the next inspiration hits. When it comes to being happy, this stacks the deck in my favor.
But it doesn’t mean I’m feeling high-flying and amazing every single second. Instead of expecting that, I am learning to make the best of where I am in the moment. By aiming to appreciate, by thinking happier thoughts, by reaching for soothing or relief, I am more likely to be in the receiving mode of happier emotions.
This may not always feel like happiness, but I’m sure it leads to a happier life.