Why do we cling to things—people, software, cars—that make us unhappy? Or worse yet, make us [tag]hypocrite[/tag]s, the worst sin of all?.
I recently found myself asking this question, after finally doing something I should have done a long time ago, making a much-needed change that already has left me happier and more light-hearted. Is it simply a matter of [tag]addiction[/tag]? Like the drug addict who can’t quit even though he knows using is bad for him, and claims to not really enjoy the high anymore? Or do we just naturally seek the [tag]patterns[/tag] of the familiar, loathe to change even when we realize it is for the best, like the unfortunate people who stay in loveless marriages, because it is comfortable and secure, even if passionless?
In the wake of my mother’s death, one of the most important things I realized while seeing a shrink for the ensuing depression was that the key to being happy lies in our own hands; it is simply a matter of doing what makes you happy. It’s a rather simple precept, really; if it makes you happy, and doesn’t harm others in the process do it; if it doesn’t, don’t do it/quit doing it/extract yourself from the circumstances making you unhappy.
Since then, whenever I have a decision to make, this precept provides the overall basis for it—whether it is something life altering, like quitting a job or deciding to continue seeing someone, or whether trying to decide between Thai and Indian food for lunch. And its always worked, fabulously well.
I suppose I’d forgotten this rule, as of late. Perhaps it is only natural that I would remember it this dreadful time of year.