One of the keys to happiness is living in the present: being mindful of what is happening now, instead of worrying about the future or regretting the past. That said, the present is not always happy. Sometimes, the now is excruciatingly painful, whether it be physically or emotionally. Ironically in those situations, it feels impossible to escape the present and it feels like the suffering will be endless.
But to quote author John Green from his novel Turtles All The Way Down:
“Your now is not your forever.”
No matter how bleak the outcome may look, there will almost always be a glimmer of hope. Wounds heal with time, we can adapt to harsh environments and we can grow strong to overcome our challenges. Things can change for the better if given the chance and with effort, no matter how impossible it may seem at the time.
So the next time you feel helplessly stuck in the now, remind yourself that this too shall pass. It will not solve your immediate problems, but it may give you a touch of strength to help endure the hard times, even if it is one day at a time.
Contemporary artists say to the public: “Art should make people think and feel some kind of emotion. Therefore, we make provocative art to invoke the negative emotions too.” To them, I say: “Life is ugly enough to give you those emotions every day – what’s wrong with just looking at paintings that bring out some positive emotions?”
Parents say to their children: “Why can’t you get good grades like others? Why don’t you listen? Why can’t you do anything right?” To them, I say: “We will all be insulted plenty throughout life, do you have to criticise us even more? Can’t you give us even a few words of encouragement, something society will never give?”
Religious people say to atheists: “How can you understand true happiness without God, faith or the belief that there is heaven after death?” To them, I say: “Knowing that I will return to nothing after a short but content life rather than going to hell for even the smallest thing simply makes me ecstatic.”
Pessimists say to optimists: “What’s so great about life? Unless you are a fool, there is nothing worth being happy about.” To them, I say: “And that is why I try to think more happy thoughts and be nice to others. Otherwise I would never make it through this rotten world. People all have enough going on in their lives – why bother making it more difficult when you can make it a little better at no added cost? The time we have is short, so what’s the point of only thinking negative, depressing thoughts? I would rather laugh like a fool, admire the little beauty left in the world and make other people’s lives a little happier before I go.”
Everything in the world depends on your perception, so why not think positively and live happily? No matter what, we can only live a certain time, no more, no less. The key to happiness is to enjoy appropriately, learn as much as possible and to love infinitely.