The Road to Happiness #2 “Spot the Gap”

Every conscious mind monitors two lines very closely and they affect our happiness deeply. The line of expectations and of the reality. It’s vital to have a harmony between these lines. This harmony idea goes parallel to the belief of Buddhism that says “Desire is the root of all suffering.”, and I will show you where this parallelism lies. You can check out more in my SelfReflection Series!

Every one of us has a craving for something. We need this craving to be satisfied to feel content with our life. I wanted to be a doctor, then I wanted to be a swimmer. I wanted many things in life. And my mood depended on my success in achieving my desires.

Our moods depend highly on the events in our surroundings. At the very base, that behavior we attribute to children still persists in most of our adult life and we drift away from comfort if things stop going our way. We feel good when we accomplish and we feel bad when we don’t do things we feel we need to do. So our inner voice always says, “I’m happy if things go well”.

As an advantage of our little but evergreen feature there is one simple question we can ask ourselves to clear our thoughts when we feel lost in them:

“ What is happening, and what do I want? What is it that’s happening against my will, and what is it that’s not happening despite my will?”

In much simpler wording:

“What is the gap between what I want and what I live through?”

This question can enlighten the road of finding our deepest desires and also the root of our deepest hurts.

I had a girlfriend back in highschool. We were in eleventh grade and I strongly felt that I loved her. It was euphoric when she responded to my love and we became lovers. Time went, things happened and one day we broke up. I was sad, sorrowful. I couldn’t stop but wonder what it was that caused our breakup. My emotions were more turbulent than ever. It was getting worse day by day. The uncontrollable emotions lasted for months. I was lost in a chaotic sea of feelings and thoughts. This and thats.

I was desperate for her affection. And maybe I could never get a hold of myself if I hadn’t remember what I had learned from my wise friend back in the beginning of the highschool.

‘’You have two lines, express them. Feel what it is that creates a hole in your heart’’

I knew I needed to express myself and my lines. But how could I actually do it?

The answer was: I needed to observe what I wanted and what I got. I had to ask myself what it is that’s going against my will, and what it is that’s not happening despite my will.

What I wanted was her affection and love that I could not get. It was to feel loved but I was not getting it from her. That is where the gap lied. This huge void drained my energy for a very long time until I could consciously observe it. Then it started to lose its power. Bad things lose their power when we consciously observe them, because we learn how to deal with them.

When it is not clear what we want, it gets more difficult to locate the gap. It feels like there is no source of the bad feeling and even though it gets better with time, it keeps coming back. In such circumstances one just needs to ask more questions and find out where in their life lies contradiction, postponement, or deficiency in fulfillment.

— There is something I need to do that I’m postponing, what is that? Is there even anything I need to be doing?
— What do I want in the short term and what else do I want for the long term? And what is it that conflicts them?
— Why am I doing what I am doing? And what am I doing that I feel contradicts what I was doing earlier?

But why did I want what I wanted in the first place? That is the question for ” The Road to Happiness #3 : Close the GAP. “

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You say you are depressed – all I see is resilience. David Mitchell