Authentic happiness doesn’t depend on what you do or your friends. Quite the contrary, real happiness is something much more than that.
Life can be confusing, especially during those years when you’re fighting and trying to gain your footing in the world. Self-love is also fleeting and authentic happiness seems like an emotion that just comes and goes.
Unfortunately, during so many of these years of our lives, we really have no idea what true happiness is.
True happiness has nothing to do with what we have or what we do. Authentic happiness can only be found inside us.
Understanding the difference
So it’s common to hear the phrase, “I just want to be happy”, right? The majority of people have this common goal, but unfortunately, search their entire lives for some magic potion to make them happy. Happiness doesn’t come that way. I’m sorry.
It’s going to take some time, quite a long time for some people to truly understand happiness. Being happy may be something you’re familiar with when you get a bonus at work, or when you fall in love, but authentic happiness, on the other hand, is something that cannot be counted or measured. It just is… So, with that being said, let’s look at a few ways that you can differentiate between fickle feelings and authentic happiness.
1. Negative vs Positive
People tell me to be positive so much that I literally want to scream. Yes, it’s a good thing to have happy thoughts and respond in a positive manner, but to ignore sadness completely is unhealthy.
If you pressure yourself to never speak negative words, you are probably not really happy, you are pretending. Authentically happy people aren’t afraid to be negative sometimes. Yes, it’s okay to get angry, and it’s okay to feel bad. The key to balancing your feelings is knowing how to process both in a “good” way.
2. Independent and happy
I’m not saying that you have to be completely independent to be happy, but it does help cultivate true happiness. Why? Because being independent allows you to rely on yourself and your abilities in order to get things done. You also start to learn things about yourself when you don’t depend on others – you learn self-love, peace, and you also learn about all the things that truly make you happy.
Maybe when you were dependent on others, the things you liked to do were based on what they enjoyed. Being alone or being independent allows you to make important discoveries about yourself. This is true happiness.
3. True happiness is present
When you finally encounter authentic happiness, it will have nothing to do with the future or your plans. All the things you have in mind for your future can come crashing down independent of true happiness. This real emotion comes from contentment in the present time, completely separate from your upcoming date or your graduation. True happiness is when you are okay with everything and most of all, with yourself.
4. Fake happiness doesn’t last
Unlike real happiness, its counterfeit version does not endure the test of time. You may feel a sudden burst of pleasure and you may smile, but this feeling is fickle. Real happiness is something that is not affected by circumstances, for example, whether we win or lose a game.
Real happiness is something so deep that despite what’s going on outside us, we remain calm and at peace. While those strong emotions of exuberance seem to fade over time, authentic happiness endures.
5. Fake happiness is intense
Here’s one that could be misleading. In fact, the strength of fake happiness has caused many people to invest in the wrong areas of their lives. Take, for example, the romantic relationship. During the first months or even year of a new union, you will feel happiness like never before.
It will seem as though you have finally found your soulmate. While this may be true, many times it’s just the fleeting emotions and hormones caused by something exciting and new. Real happiness may or may not come later, depending on the compatibility or success of the relationship. BEWARE of the new love.
6. Real happiness is “real”
Some people who experience these sudden happy feelings and then experience negative circumstances just cannot deal with the ups and down. They will tell you that they are happy one day and then sad the next. This is not someone who experiences true happiness.
True happiness will have it’s ups and downs, and this “being real” experience will be appreciated by those who are truly happy. They will not see this rollercoaster of events as having anything to do with their authentic emotions and will be able to separate how you feel from honest “burps” in life.
7. Authentic happiness doesn’t need approval
Unlike fleeting feelings of euphoria, real happiness does not need the approval of friends, family members or partners. True happiness is something within that’s guarded our by our convictions and morals. No one can take this from us and no one has the right to criticize what makes us truly happy.
Are you happy? Are you chasing a fleeting emotion? Which one is it?
Before you answer those questions, take some time for introspection because honestly, happiness is a valuable gem that only you can recognize for what its worth. Only you know whether or not you are truly happy and this can be determined by how much you’re willing to trade for just a portion of this feeling.
If you said that your happiness is priceless, then maybe you are experiencing what’s called, authentic happiness. What a wonderful thought.
By Sherrie H.