There has been so much truth written since the passing of two adored celebrities last week. There were two particular posts out of the bunch I have read that struck a cord with me enough to share them on my Facebook Page. The following is the one surrounding Anthony's death that led me to write this post and reflect on my own view of what happiness means to me.
"I thought it was impossible to have a better life than Anthony Bourdain. But his final bittersweet gift just knocked me on my ass with the stark reminder that adventure, love, prosperity, prestige…anything we aspire to at all…is really just the currency we use to buy the four things that really matter: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Realizing that even that kiss that melts your heart… only melts it because those four fairy godmothers waved their magic wands and turned your brain into a freakin princess. But if our brain hits us with a really shitty exchange rate, if suddenly winning that Academy Award only buys us a day’s ration of serotonin, then how the hell are we supposed to stock up for our whole lives? That Anthony Bourdain can stand on the highest mountain and feel nothing but a desire to move toward oblivion is all I need to kick me in the ass and ask the most important question, how’s my exchange rate? What can I do to get more joy out of everything I’m presented with, big or small? How does anyone do that? I guess there begins one’s lifelong quest for God, psychedelic drugs, transcendental meditation, or whatever the hell else you need to do to bring true value to the external pleasures of the world. Anything that promises, not pleasure, but perspective. There's a good case to be made that those are the things worth seeking first, before even love and success. Because watching my little boy flood his brain with happiness because he found a cool stick on the lawn is all the evidence I need that “how you experience” is so much more important than “what you experience.”
- Sean Carter | original post Pretty powerful words aren't they? They remind me of one of my favourites by Jim Carrey that I came across around the same time all of this happened...
"I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer."
Have you ever worked so hard to achieve something, because you think it's the answer to your eternal happiness, only to be disappointed in how you feel once you reach the destination?
I have. I am doing what I love every single day. And yet, I have a really hard time getting out of bed in the morning. And I have a really hard time being grateful for what I have.
I posted my #ClosettCandyyRealTalk video 2 days before the death of Kate and 5 days before the death of Anthony (you can watch below if you missed it). I have been feeling low because I can't understand why I'm not happy after working so hard to achieve what I wanted more than anything. Becoming a stylist and helping people love their wardrobes was something I didn't think I could do, but I did it! Holy fuck, I did it. So... why am I not happy?
Why is the bright and bubbly girl who has so much going for her - NOT FUCKING HAPPY? It is actually quite simple but has taken quite a while to sink in and fully understand: I don't know my self worth.
Deep down, I don't know how I feel about the woman I am because I have never praised her for anything other than her accomplishments. Or perhaps, I do know how I feel and that's 'not good enough.' So I attach my worth to things like money and a career and great style and how many likes a photo gets, amongst other things.
And what this does to your psyche over time is conditions you believe that when you have an abundance of these things you attach your worth to, you are successful (and in turn, should be happy) And when you don't? Well, girl you 'aint shit. [This of course isn't true, it's just what a lot of us are conditioned to believe]
I thought that once I made it on my own (and showed it off along the way) that would be it; I would have the answer to happiness because I got what I wanted. But... am I happy? Some days I am, and some I am not. More the latter, lately. If I'm being completely honest. And that's on me. During the days I'm not happy, I "work" even harder for that end goal of happiness or I sit in my unhappiness and shit on other people for theirs (in my head).
But that's such narrow and negative perspective... isn't it? Trying to work hard for happiness and being mad at others who have seem to have "found it"...
I see now, after some burn out, stabs in the back, and the death of two people who were very much doing the same thing - chasing a feeling - that the approach needs to change.
How you experience, is much more important than what you experience. So when you see someone doing their version of "happy" - don't judge, learn.