I think it’s safe to say that virtually every person that exists desires happiness. I certainly do. I would love nothing more than to wake up and instantly be met with overwhelming joy and peace that lasts throughout the entirety of my day. But unfortunately, that’s not my reality. That’s not the reality of many.
There are a number of things that contribute to one’s unhappiness–circumstances, past trauma, biological factors, and so on. The important thing to note, however, is that in spite of any and all of these things, happiness is still possible. It is still possible to feel happiness even if one suffers from a chemical imbalance. Even if one has just lost someone very special to them. It’s difficult, though. It’s extremely difficult to feel even the slightest ounce of happiness when something terrible has happened to you, or your biological makeup is simply a hindrance to the hormonal experience of happiness. It’s so difficult, and I can attest to that.
Since achieving happiness is not always the most plausible of options, try instead to aim for neutrality. Not happiness. Not bliss. Just neutrality. You don’t have to be bouncing-off-the-walls, ecstatic and overjoyed in order to be okay. You can be neutral, and sometimes that is enough. Sometimes neutrality is all you need to just be okay. Just to feel a miniscule sense of peace. To not be suffocated by the weight of sadness that normally hangs over you.
This is not to say that one should stop striving for happiness altogether, because I do not believe that to be true at all. Rather, one should stop convincing themselves that an “all-or-nothing” view of happiness is plausible and healthy. It’s okay to find comfort and solace in the space of a neutral middle ground. It’s not “settling.” It’s not “giving up.” It’s being reasonable and kind with yourself. Recognizing that it’s okay to aim for neutrality is recognizing that it’s okay to just be okay.
Speaking from personal experience, when you strive for happiness, you strive for immense joy and abundant peace, and you get terribly discouraged when you don’t achieve all of those things. It’s discouraging to aim so high and be let down so greatly by yourself. When you deem yourself incapable of reaching these very difficult goals, it makes you want to give up altogether. Give into the sadness and the darkness and simply stop trying to feel anything of an improvement.
That’s why allowing yourself to aim for neutrality is arguably more conducive. It allows you to set a goal is that is easier to reach, a goal more likely to be achieved. The achieving of that goal is alone enough to inspire and encourage you. Be patient with yourself. Recognize that you are deserving of happiness and perhaps one day it shall be yours, but it’s okay to be neutral for now. It’s okay to just be okay.