So many great ways to explore this topic. The hedonic treadmill keeps us all desperately chasing after the next happiness score. We’re programmed to see happiness as the preferred default state, so any time that we’re not happy means something must be wrong.
But as you say, true wisdom is seeing that the suffering is the real yardstick. There will be dark days for every one of us.We’ll all get sick. We’ll all die. Because we’re not happy at this moment doesn’t mean we’re broken. It means we’re alive. So how miraculous is it in those moments that we do feel happiness despite what we know is coming. When I feel love for my spouse, knowing that one day we’ll inevitably be pulled apart. When I enjoy a meal or someone’s company, knowing that it’s only temporary. We have to dive into the suffering. Claim it as our own and inhabit it completely. Once we have that acceptance as our baseline, happiness is a sweet gift to be cherished.