If we get over-attached to an object, then our mood will be heavily dependent on how things go with that object. Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

Emilia loves ice cream, and hates fierce dogs.  Her life is straightforward.  When she is eating ice cream, she is happy.  When she encounters a fierce dog, she is unhappy.

Gemma loves her boyfriend Jake, but hates his behaviour.  When she is with Jake, she is happy-unhappy.  Gemma likes to be away from his behaviour, but she also hates to be without him.  When she is without Jake, she is also happy-unhappy.

When the things that make us happy are very different from the things that make us sad, we may have a more straightforward life, and find it easier to be happy.

On the other hand, when the things that make us happy also make us unhappy, we may have a more complicated life, and find it harder to be happy.

Anya is having an affair with a married man.  He promises to leave his wife, and then stays married, for ever promising.  Anya is happy-unhappy.

What’s the answer?  It’s complicated.

We could choose a simple life, only picking people and things that make us happy.

The trouble is, happiness and unhappiness are often embedded in the same object.  Close friends and relatives are light and darkness mixed.  It is hard to find one without the other.

Whatever we are attached to, may come with associated problems.  One answer, therefore, is to see the happy-unhappy state as a problem of attachment.  If we can learn not to get over-attached to people and things, and over-repelled by their down-side, then life is less of a rollercoaster.

Just for today, I will reduce my attachment to people and things, and learn to see everyone and everything as “just them” or “just that”.  I can still enjoy myself, but my life will be a little more flowing, more steadily happy.  I can still love people and things, but that love will be a little more generous, and a little less needy.