We don’t look for happiness — it’s comfort
Or have you realized this all along?
The past few days, I just discovered one brutal fact about life. It may not be brutal or new to others, but it is for me.
That all these times, I may not search for happiness, I was just looking for some comfort — and it may be relevant for the majority of human beings on earth, who build homes as shelter to protect them from heat and rain, who use all kinds of applications to provide ease in fulfilling their needs, who buy medicine to ease their pain, who does binge-eating or binge-watching to avoid dealing with their feelings, and many more.
We’re not searching for happiness. We’re looking for comfort, almost every time.
It’s brutal for me, because all I’ve been feeling the past few weeks was pain, physically and emotionally. My minds troubled me with all kinds of news about illness, death, how my perfectionism and high standard were pushing me too far, how my health was deteriorating and was taxing me my life, and so many more — till my body just couldn’t handle it anymore it broke down.
And the revelation happened in a therapy room, where my therapist and I exchanged some thoughts about what’s going on with me, whether or not my childhood had anything to do with how I was dealing with the problems I had.
That made me look at everything differently. I realized how much modernization and technology had shaped us into this being who keep looking for comfort everywhere we go. We challenge the status quo to improve the comfort level. That’s how we’ve been trained, and that made me realize how my parenting will, in one way or another, raise my kid into another similar being.
And it’s not entirely negative, it’s just we’re so accustomed to comfort, we are trained to avoid discomfort, suffering. I personally feel lost, feel like quitting, feel like it’s doomsday, at times when things went south. And yet, I preach about how growth happens in times of discomfort, and yeah that’s so true at work, why didn’t I apply it with the same mindset in life?
If discomfort is so bad, why did Siddharta Gautama left everything, the ultimate level of comfort living as a noble family, to suffer, to understand what it is? I guess I realize now how only by embracing suffering, I can find a way to the real life — however abstract that may sound for now.
Yet the million dollar question lingers, how do we get more and more accustomed to suffering? How do we plant the seeds to teach the same to our next generations, especially in the midst of this modernization?