1. The feeling you get when you realize the universe worked out an issue for you, and you were worried for no reason. Is there a more incredible sensation than when you realize something you were plagued about is a non-issue? It’s that first deep breath and little smirk, as you think to yourself, see, you were worried for no reason! Feeling that weight be lifted off you is something you don’t experience every day, and it’s incredible when you do.
2. The feeling you get when you were able to work out an issue for yourself, and you realize you were worried for no reason. The only thing better than seeing things work themselves out is when you can work them out. It’s the sense of strength and control you get. You get the notion that whatever else comes your way you’ll be able to deal with, and hopefully that’s true. But if it isn’t, you’ll deal with it in due time and experience the relief all over again.
3. When you love someone despite the circumstances, despite them not loving you back, and despite knowing you’ll never be together. This is a very raw kind of unconditional love, and I think it’s something to be noted because it’s not at all rooted in self-interest. When people get upset over someone not reciprocating feelings, at the end of the day, you have to wonder to yourself when they were taught that love would always give to you what you give to it. (By the way, that’s the idealist’s version of love, we who have been around the block a few times know better).
4. The feeling of loving your job, even if it’s not your “dream” and even if you’re not joyous every moment of every day. I think this is something that everyone deserves to experience at one point or another. It doesn’t have to be love because it’s something your passionate about, but at the very least, being happy that you have a job to feed yourself and provide you a steady income. The thing is, we essentially spend all day every day working. Even if we can’t be doing something we love all the time, we at least deserve to find ways to love it for what it is, and not what it isn’t.
5. The first time you move out on your own. I’m not sure what it is about doing so that’s so freeing, but I think it may have something to do with the notion that you are finally self-supportive. You have your own little place in this world in which you can essentially do whatever you want. You can put into this little place whomever and whatever it is that makes you happy, and nobody gets to tell you what’s right or wrong about it.
6. The moment you realize you are okay with being with yourself. This is the most earnest form of loving yourself. This is the Saturday night you treat yourself to dinner and a movie and come back and you are perfectly content with your day. This is what it means to love yourself. To treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated, and you to want to be with yourself as much as you want to be with anybody else.
7. The moment you truly experience gratitude, and not in the way most people assume. I just watched a video that outlined a study that was done, explaining how one integral necessity for happiness is to cultivate gratitude. I believe this is true. I also believe that people think they are grateful because once in a while they say, oh, yes, my life could be worse, and I’m lucky I have x, y and z. What I think it’s really about is being conscious of the fact that you are so lucky to be experiencing what you are experiencing, and really loving what you have while you have it.
8. The feeling of being hated, but realizing that it’s a natural part of life and that said hatred does not and will not affect you. If part of your dream of ideal happiness has anything to do with the idea that everybody loves you, you simply will never achieve it. What’s really special, though, is when you hear (and in my case, read) the mean comments people dole out and you realize that it’s more of a reflection of themselves than it is of you. You don’t get that sinking feeling anymore because you know it only affects you if you’re still stuck in the mindset that your happiness is contingent upon the approval of others.
9. When you realize that you are free, despite what anybody else says or thinks. We build our own cages. I’ve said this before but it’s so apt, I’ll say it again: even the caged bird can sing if only it can find the tune. The day you decide to be free is the day you are. You have merely constructed the constraints you feel withhold you. Release yourself from them. It’s one of the most liberating things you can do.
10. Contentment in the present moment, and the ability to just “be.” Isn’t this the greatest experience of all? What we’re all looking for in the long-run? Well, all I know is that it’s a hard place to get to and it’s even harder to stay there. But if you are one of the dedicated people who has worked hard enough to experience this, it really is the greatest feeling you will have, and most certainly something we should all accomplish before we die.