My friend Ethel told me that there’s no such thing as flat happiness. When you’re happy, the feeling should be dynamic, having energy and full of enthusiasm. Flat happiness is when you think you’re happy, but there’s nothing interesting about feeling it. You’re in a state of changelessness. If you’re happy, there should be an altering feeling of what you felt previously to what you feel at the very moment. Of course it should be a change from a certain condition to a better one. To make sure that you’re happy, there should be an increase of quality.
Back to the flat happiness. Actually Ethel gave me such respond because it was me who said that I was happy but it was just the flat one. Does it mean that I wasn’t happy, although it was a flat happiness? Based on the certain explanation in the above passage, I wasn’t. So, what made me feel unhappy? Well, I couldn’t find the answer since I feel that I’m OK. My life runs well. I have people who show affections and care in my surroundings. Although I just have a small number whom I can trust, I feel blessed. I can rely on them and trust them. I’m not that kind of person who trust many people and have many friends. It’s important to note that I don’t consider all friends as “friends”. There is such thing called as “acquaintances” in my life. So, yeah, I have my friends and family. I have great jobs and enjoy doing them. I can eat my favorite food whenever I want. Then, what’s wrong with me? Why I wasn’t happy?
When I asked such question to Ethel, I was pumping her with answer that could satisfy me. She replied me by saying if I ever once in my life just listened to what my heart really wanted. Well, I couldn’t hold my laughter. When I was in love, I listened to it. You just couldn’t ignore what you felt when you’re in love, right? That’s merely one of the examples I could give about “listening to the heart”. Ethel said no and she gave me that sympathetic smile and with that I couldn’t hold my extreme bewilderment. If what she meant was having a talent like a clairvoyant or shaman, no no I didn’t have it for sure. I even notice myself incapable of predicting what’s about to happen, either the good or bad one. Some people say that women have that kind of feeling. The hell with it. I’ve never felt it for 23 years of my life.
Well, Ethel said that women had it. Not the feeling to predict what’s about to happen, but the feeling to actually listen to what your heart mostly wanted. That’s the source of happiness. Of course we couldn’t just felt happy in a sudden if we already knew what we wanted. We need to begin a struggle to gain that happiness. A quest for things that our heart really wanted. And we’re on the right path.
What did I mostly want? Only my heart could provide the answer. And Ethel said that most of the time, our ability to listen to what the heart really wanted was blocked by our mid with its bustling activities and occupied most our attention. We have too many thoughts about what was my ideal life should be according to the society, what should I do to make it happen, do I make my family and friends happy, what do they think about me, and bla bla bla which wouldn’t end because the newest question would always emerge once the previous one was answered. Thus, the earliest and most prominent thing to do if you want to know what you really want is get rid of those bla bla bla questions. It’s burdening to live with such bucketloads of question marks. You’re not getting closer to what you really want if your mind occupies most of your dreaming room.
Thus, I should learn to ignore questions from surroundings, expectations from society upon what I should give to them and satisfy them. Ethel thought that my minds were mostly filled with plans to pursue the answers of society’s questions rather than my own question. I think it doesn’t happen to me solely. It happens to most women who haven’t found the way to express themselves since they are bound with rules of some creeds that they are somehow pushed to believe. It can be the traditional, religious, or modern one. Women have weaker position than men in any kinds of society they live in because they’re not free to do what they want. Therefore, any kind of decision they make is based on the creed where the society they live in mostly uphold. Ethel and I both agree with this thought. I don’t say that women shouldn’t follow the credo of a particular belief. I say that they should choose what belief they want most to accompany them find their decisions or get rid of all creeds at all.
Unfortunately, women in my society are still dictated with creeds from their surroundings and when they want to alter it later or get rid of it, it’s almost impossible. Once somebody is planted with a particular belief, it should remain until the end of the day. If I really want to find what I really want, I should get rid of all beliefs that hamper me from reaching out my dream. Then I just need to have a time to meditate. It’s not literally a meditation like we’ve seen practiced by monks or religious people in India. But back to the meaning of meditation itself, meditation is an act of giving your attention to a specific thing. And the specific thing that that we give the attention upon is our quest for happiness. Ethel said that it’s not that hard as it seemed. She has proved it. So when I asked her if she found something she had looked for in life, she said not yet but she knew that she was in the right path because she already knew what she wanted.
I said I envied her. But I would find it if I struggled to find it. Well, I always believe that if somebody could, why wouldn’t I? At the end of our conversation, she recommended me a book by Clarissa Pinkola Estes entitled “Women Who Run with the Wolves”. Ethel said it would help me a lot to find what I really want in life. And sure when I get my dream, I hope I can find the true happiness.