Sunday, February 22, 2015

Trapped by Happiness

Watching the latest episode of Vikings with my girlfriend, Floki had a line that made an impression on me, sparking thoughts that would lead to a poem. Debating whether or not to go raid while watching his wife and child, he burst out with "I'm too happy. I feel trapped." It was such a great bit of writing and character development because it's something many people have experienced though probably not been able to vocalize so succinctly.

Recently I've been dealing with the fear of being happy, or more accurately the fear of now finding happiness, I would lose it. I imagine Floki was afraid of going to battle because he didn't want to be taken away from his family; however, he also felt torn as if he was losing his Viking fearlessness that defined him. As humans we strive for the things that we believe will make us happy (though many times they are only existential narcotics). Regardless of the long term efficacy of the source of happiness, most who have deeply craved it are terrified of losing it. When you have been miserable for a long time, it's almost worse to accept a reprieve and be thrown back down the hole again because it crushes your soul that much more for daring to believe.

The truth though is that when we are afraid, we run or do other self destructive things before someone else can so that we are still in control. I realized that while I've had many experiences that were unpleasant, as I stood up for myself and moved on, I gained more happiness but I also gained a greater acceptance for myself. It's a snowball effect to where I've finally started to accept that no matter what happens, the past will only make me stronger. Even if the reprieve is momentary, it's a rest that may give you the strength to climb out of the hole yourself the next time.

Life is a beast that can only be dealt with by accepting that it is untamable. When you quit trying to pour water into a pile and accept it's nature of being level, you can learn how to interact with it. Self acceptance and letting go of control are the greatest assets you can have to conquer life. In tandem they provide the capability to handle whatever life throws at you without cracking because you are too ridged or your self worth was destroyed. I imagine that in the recipe for lemonade from life's lemons, it says "chill out, stop being pissed these aren't grapes. You can do this." That of course and "add lots of sugar."

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