When taring it out simply hides the imbalance.
Happiness in life can be a delicate balancing act. Through no fault of our own we can easily become overwhelmed with a seemingly endless stream of decisions, details, and distractions. We’re forced to evaluate on a sometimes daily — and often quick — basis what we should add to our ”scale of resilience”, and in turn how much weight and attention we choose to give it. Just like any scale, ours (and the resilience it measures and represents) is rated to a certain weight limit that we so easily ignore at the cost of our happiness.
It starts subtly enough, especially when the positives we experience in life tip the scales in their favour. Our complacency during those times belies the truth of how quickly things can and will shift in the other direction. Life will always have rocks to throw onto the bed of that scale of resilience, and those are things we have no choice but to deal with. Perhaps more important, however, are those things we choose to give our precious time, attention, and energy to. Quite often they’re benign enough not to register a huge change on the readout, and, in tandem with the moments when we have a surplus of positivity, go unnoticed.
The more trivial things we choose to place on our scale, the closer we inch toward reaching the weight limit of not only our resiliency, but also our happiness. Every ounce of cynicism, worry, fear, and anger we devote to matters out of our control and undeserved of the weight we give them, adds up. Albeit slowly in comparison to the blatantly obvious difficulties that rear their ugly head, but just as sinister as they continue to chip away at the surplus of joy we sometimes feel. What happens when the positives no longer outweigh the negatives? Worse, what happens when the scale reaches its weight limit for long enough?
Sooner or later a point is reached when taring the scale no longer works, and merely serves to hide the negativity we’ve had — or chosen to be — placed upon it. Zeroing out all that we’ve wrongly given weight to doesn’t free up our resiliency, nor does it allow things which we derive happiness from to once again tip things to our advantage. We’ve become overloaded, and now it’s that same happiness that no longer registers to us. We risk permanently breaking the scale.
The only solution is to recalibrate.
By asking ourselves if something’s worthy of the focus and attention we give it, we can eliminate those subtle sources of negativity that break our resilience over time. Undoubtedly this can be a difficult ask of ourselves when we live in a society that seemingly has negativity in endless supply. Those times when happiness feels short and fleeting are the perfect opportunity to take a step back and evaluate our life once again. To remove the sources of negativity that we have control over. To get back to those people and things which bring us joy. A reset and re-tuning of our resilience back to a default state of balance and stability.
Recalibrate the scale, and we can increase the measure of our happiness.