Hey B #12: Is This Happiness Too Good To Be True?

I’m struggling to stay in the present, for fear of the future.

Hey B, 

Thank you so much for your kind reply to the response I left on your Medium story. 

I’ve been trying hard to educate myself, to know how to fight depression, how to be happy, how to stop feeling guilty, how to stop being afraid of uncertain things. I felt growing up like I was in isolation. I’ve always fought all the pain life ever thrown me at, all alone.

So I meditated, I read, I painted, I went far away from home. I went to Rome, I went to Spain, I went to Barcelona. I’ve tried many things, I play guitar, I sing, I dance. I was trying hard to find every single breath that can lead me to be thankful for all those opportunities, all these talents. 

Now, It feels like. I’m living a way too good life, my dream came true. I went to the city and places I want. I have a perfect partner in my life. Everything is just way too good to be true. This has me freaking scared, like, “What kind of pain will life throw at me one day?” Like I’m trying hard to fight tomorrow’s battle right now. 

I’m afraid of losing this happiness. I’m afraid things might change like how it surely will. I’m struggling to live my present. 

I have no idea how to find the light to deal with this feeling. I know you’re an educator. I got the feeling that you can lead me with your words. Please help me to know more from your perspective about how you live your present. 

Thank you,

Dear Good,

The higher we are, the further we have to fall. Or at least that’s how it feels.

Sometimes when I look at my husband I feel so much love, so much gratitude for having him in my life, that I then feel sudden terror at the prospect of ever losing him.

This makes sense when we are innocently lost in a misunderstanding of where happiness comes from.

When we believe that an experience of well-being comes from our husband, or — in your case — from learning to express yourself through art, from living in amazing places, from having the perfect partner — it is reasonable to be terrified about any of those things changing.

When we see that this cannot be the case, things get a lot easier. When we see that our well-being can only come from within, and that — despite all our painful past experiences — it is indeed our natural state, we become more fearless. We can’t help but live our present.

Your life circumstances will surely change, my friend, as you so astutely pointed out in your letter. At a minimum, it is certain that people you love will die. You will die.

And yet, you need not fear the fall. You’ve climbed your way back up before, and you will do it again. But next time, I hope you will see that all the work you did to try to attain the peace you’ve found is work you never need to do again.

I hope you remember that you are love and well-being, dear friend, and that nothing in your life can change that — not even your thinking or your brain chemistry — not even the past or the future.

I hope you see that peace is what you’re made of, so that the next time you feel like you’re drowning, you don’t have to struggle so hard to resurface. I hope you remember to relax and let your natural buoyancy lift you up.

When you start to look in this direction, living in the present becomes easy. You see that the present is all there is — that there is nothing for you in your grief about the past or your fear about the future.

There is only now. You were made for this moment. Welcome home.


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