I spent such a huge part of my life feeling dread and misery that in the beginning of this whole life overhaul journey, I had to believe happiness wasn’t some BS made up Disney emotion. And then I had to figure out if I was worth this lovely gift. And when I finally decided that maybe I was, what does happiness feel like for me?
Since childhood, each of us has developed an entire dossier on our own happiness. Some items stem from the musings of a three-year-old, like chocolate for every meal and Daddy and Mommy getting back together. Some are American ideals like white picket fences and skinny bodies. But some may be so precious, we may never have even spoken them.
My arting and writing were two activities I denied myself to a painful point. But since I’ve been allowing for their regular expression, I can say that my happiness is truly dependent on these. Although I was dubious about marriage and children, I have come to discover that there are many more layers of wonder there than meet the eye.
Money and fame are extrinsic rewards that hold no glamour for me. Happiness is an intrinsic goal. However, Where I once shut down the possibility of making money and gaining any credit, I am beginning to open up to the concept that they are on a necessary pathway to the next steps of creativity and self-exploration.
For me, happiness is about being present in my life. If I’m doing something, I want to be OK with being there doing that. And if I can’t be, then I need to go about changing stuff and making choices so that I never need to feel that way again. Trusting myself to confidently sort through my life’s decisions has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments.
Happiness is about being with my kids and not being impatient with them because I think I have somewhere else to be (except maybe making their dinner). It’s about getting exercise, sleeping well, and cooking yummy food. And my ultimate happiness is to spend time with friends yapping and laughing and drinking a nice bottle of wine. Everything else is a plus happy. I’ve spent a lifetime fishing to feel what happiness felt like. I am making it up as I go and learning that not only do I deserve it and that it’s possible to be happy, but instead of buying into what others tell me should make me happy, I get to decided what makes me truly happy.
What makes you truly happy? Being surrounded by a certain color or immersed in a smell or sound? A certain place on earth? Tell me in the comments please.
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I feel happy doing yoga in the sun on the deck, even with the sweat dripping — maybe especially with the sweat dripping because I know my body is alive, is letting the creative juices flow, surrendering to the day, to the light, to the pup beside me wanting to play ball instead of yoga. I feel happy with a sip of tonic water, and when a breeze comes through. I feel happy when I connect with friends like you…
Ah Tamara how lucky I am to be reading your response this morning. I too get so much pleasure in our connection! Look to your mail for a letter from me. Just saw your address and decided it’s a sign. Because writing letters is something that makes me immensely happy.
This touched a nerve in me Shlalagh…rediscovering “happy” and redefining it for myself.I too have only just emerged from the dark tunnel..a destructive long relationship that nearly pushed me under….but I’m out and standing on my own two feet, I have my kids and we are fine…baby steps..still not quite out in the full glare of sunlight, but at last I am on the path.
The other day, driving my youngest to school,the sun suddenly burst through and lit up the glistening Bay and I felt a strange surge…I glimpsed “happy”.Happy like a childhood day at the seaside, a burst of happy like a far-off holiday memory…except, it was just an ordinary day in my ordinary life in this everyday ordinary place, … the blessings were all under my nose all along, but for a long time I was somehow incapable of enjoying them. xxx
Oh Karenkelly, I know that feeling. Those are magic stone moments that will lead you on. I am so very happy to hear that you are on the other side. I’ve been there but I didn’t have children then. It’s tough. I wish you those moments of gratitude on a daily basis that you can start to rebuild what happiness feels like to you. Grab my ear whenever you want!