Sunday, August 12, 2012

Borrowed happiness

What does it take to make you happy?

I have a friend who never told me that there was something lacking in their five-year relationship with her partner. After awhile, it got to be kinda funny that they've been together for the longest time and yet have not tied the knot. Over a cup of coffee, some delectable macarons and a lazy afternoon - she casually told me that she was looking for a more "permanent happines". I was dazed and asked her what her problem was. I mean, you gotta hand it to her - a job that pays great, a lot of friends that like her, and a fiance that's good looking and seems to love her to death.

In this story, my friend happens to be the other woman.

Human nature dictates that in our lifetime, we search for love. More often than not, lust takes the better half of that search. While sex is part of a relationship, it should not be the centerpiece in it.

I do not prejudge people who are in a complex relationship. After all, as individuals, we make our own decisions...and should be responsible for its consequences. I told my friend that in any relationship, we need to understand the "I" factor. This means that we take hold of respect of self as the first and foremost goal. We cannot make others - whether they are our relatives or friends or acquaintances - respect us if we cannot seem to take a grasp of our own lives.

It is easy to drum up excuses for holding on to what I call "borrowed happiness". Happiness, is, after all something we all deserve. But being happy at the expense of the misery of another party is selfishness on our part. Some people like being the "other woman". It's like being appreciated more than the "true" better half. But men can be animals. They throw their attention to you in order to get laid or prove that their waning libidos are still working.

Gay relationships are just as cruel. Most gay men and women are attracted with the physical attributes and are more promiscuous than heterosexual couples. Irregardless of sexual preference, each relationship comes together in the search for the "happily-ever-afters".

There is no love in a crowded relationship. I don't believe in the BS that sharing a marriage or a relation ends up in a win-win situation. All parties end up hurting each other and we lose respect of self. There is no winner in this kind of relationship and the few hours of happiness are simply "borrowed" so to speak.

The ultimate goal is to challenge ourselves to learn to walk away when there is nothing left in a relationship to begin with, or to salvage.

One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho puts into perspective what love is. "Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused." In reality, love is not to be understood. It is to be attained, but only if we work hard to overcome the challenges in searching for the right person, by finding self-respect in ourselves first.

And the greatest lie in the world is when we make believe and rationalize on "borrowed happiness" at the expense of other peoples misery.

“After all, what is happiness? Love, they tell me. But love doesn't bring and never has brought happiness. On the contrary, it's a constant state of anxiety, a battlefield; it's sleepless nights, asking ourselves all the time if we're doing the right thing. Real love is composed of ecstasy and agony.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Witch Of Portobello

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