This from the novel "Dirty Tricks" (2005) by Michael Dibdin;
"It was a brilliant sunny day, but with an autumnal edge, perfect walking weather. I strolled along a narrow path with the anticipatory exhilaration a fine morning bestows, that quids-in glow of youth confident that there is more and better to come. But the wisdom of age told me that this parabola for promise would not maintain indefenitely, but would peak and decline ... I would peak earlier and higher and then feel like hell for the rest of the day. If I wanted to be happy I should have avoided the pub altogether or at least had nothing stronger than mineral water. I knew that. So I ordered a pint of bitter, and then another. What it comes down to is that I can't handle happiness. I don't know what to do with it."
Have you ever wondered why the once gorgeous and talented Elizabeth Taylor has been married eight times?
Anyway, I think the number is eight. Why Britney Spears has a problem with booze and pills? And look at the all time hulk of man, Elvis; not to mention every male's favorite pin-up, Marilyn.
What they all have or had in common is that they had fame, money, talent, beauty, adoration and love. I mean, I'm sure that at least one of Liz's husbands loved her for herself. Maybe it was Richard Burton. He married her twice; or was it three times? And since he already had money and fame we can rule out either as being allures for him.
Each has or had tried to wash away the "problems" with alcohol or alter reality and create an illusion of "happiness" with mind expanding substances. Anyway, you get the idea. Happiness has little to do with any of those things you think will MAKE you happy. That's because nothing can hand you happiness on a silver platter ... especially a silver platter.
This illusive emotion? quality? condition? whatever it is, is probably deep inside of ourselves waiting to be released. Waiting for the abracadabra, the magic words, so that it can flow like a waterfall drenching yours truly in an aura of selfcontentment. Selfcontentment? Well, yes, maybe that's what happiness is all about.
Perhaps why people have so much trouble when looking for happiness is we don't know what it is. And during those rare moments we feel it, we don't know what to do with it.
So, let's say, for the sake of argument, that happiness is selfcontentment.
Hmmm, new terminology ... what is selfcontentment? You can't buy a yacht with it. And if your selfcontentment is an environment that lacks of riches, you're not going to be able to "buy" the "love" of your "perfect" partner to achieve happiness.
But, of course, with selfcontentment you don't feel the need to buy the lottery ticket or feel the need of things that you KNOW will make you happy because you are allready content with what you got. What more do you require?
Ironically, the lesson here -- if you have been reading between the lines -- is there ain't NO happiness in this world so we must be happy without it! Huh? you say. Yeah, well, I read it somewhere; but it's a good thing because if you had it you wouldn't know what to do with it!
Image: Elizabeth Taylor by Andy Warhol