Happiness and Love

When I was in high school I thought I had everything about happiness figured out. I would bide my time with school work until I could find a woman who would fall in love with me and then I’d be truly happy. I’d unknowingly fallen into a trap that many tend to fall in when dealing with love and happiness: placing the responsibility for joy onto someone else. Since this moves said responsibility out of your control, it lowers your chances of being happy.

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Many writers and other creative folk often pin their artistic creations on love and happiness as well in that they say they can’t create unless they have a muse or a tragically unrequited love. They think that they can’t make art unless they are completely blissful or miserable with nothing in between. I used to believe this as well and I recall trying to whip up my positive or negative emotions into a frenzy before writing or acting. It was exhausting, but I thought that it was the only way. I was wrong.

Happiness and love are certainly connected, but true happiness begins with love of the self. I’m not talking about being self-centered or pleasuring yourself sexually, I’m saying that happiness and true love are both increased when you have a high amount of self-esteem. Many people get into loving relationships in an effort to balance out problems in themselves, to fix problems in their partner, or to find someone to make them feel loved. In reality, only you can deal with your own problems and the most effective way to feel loved is by loving yourself. We all know that it can hurt if you lose someone via break-up, divorce, etc., but it hurts even more if you have all of your happiness and love staked in this person. I’m not saying you shouldn’t love your partner with all your heart, but if you love yourself just as much, independently from him or her, you’ll be happier overall.

On the second point of needing love or unrequited love to be able to create something artistic, I’m going to need to call bull. Ever since I began working on my own happiness and love, my writing output has increased dramatically. Sure, I’m sad sometimes and happy other times, but it doesn’t dictate the creative work I do. It took time to learn how to get in a proper creative state without being overly emotional but it can be done. Don’t let your brain and your emotions control your art; only you should be able to do that.

In conclusion, happiness and love is first and foremost an inside job. If you learn to appreciate yourself for the good you can bring to your own life, you’ll be happier, healthier and more creative.

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