Hey there folks! Guess who is back?
I am not going to make excuses. I have failed at keeping up with this as I have so many times before. However, just like my topic I am going to accept this for what it is and just move forward.
As you might have guessed to day I want to discuss happiness. I have spoken of this topic on several other occasions and I am not of a mind to go back and read what I wrote so my apologies if I repeat myself, although I do not think I will be.
While I would not call myself a Buddhist, I am greatly influenced by Buddhist thought and teaching. One of the lessons Buddhism teaches is that suffering is brought about because of attachment. Another way to think of this is that expectations deprive us of happiness.
You see, not only do we become attached to a thing because we care for it or need it for some purpose. We also become attached to the pattern of things around us. For example, think about the useless convention of daylight savings. When the change first occurs, no matter if it is an extra hour of darkness in the morning or the evening it affects your entire day. You are used to a particular pattern and now it is different and it takes time to get used to the new pattern.
I understand that this may not cause significant suffering, but it makes my point all the same. You expect things to be a certain way and then for one reason or another they are not and this disrupts your routine. The disruption is a source of suffering because our expectations have not been met. It may come in the form of a snarky remark or a full blown temper tantrum. In either case we get so caught up in our own expectations that we allow this disruption to poison things around us that have nothing to do with the original event.
The catch of all of this is more often than not we have no control over the cause of the disruption. The only thing we do have control over is our reaction to the disruption. While it is natural, even logical, to expect patterns to repeat themselves we can let go of our attachment to that expectation and accept the results for what they are and move forward.
This is why happiness is a choice. That is not to say it is like flipping a switch that suddenly makes everything sunshine and rainbows. Rather, we can choose to not let a bad thing ruin anything outside of itself. One event is simply one event and as long as you are not allowing that event to shape others by way of your attachment to that event, than you are making the choice and owning your own happiness.