Sunday, December 14, 2014

What happiness means to me

With the Christmas season in full swing, everyone is shopping for that perfect gift. The gift which will make someone else happy. What is happiness? How does someone know what will make someone else happy? Everyone is searching for what will make them happy. Happiness is different for everyone. It is difficult to define without diving into philosophy and psychology. When I think of happiness, I think of the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” it is the same for happiness. Happy people realize who makes them happy, will look for the silver lining, and allows happy moments to just happen.

First, you are in charge of making yourself happy. No one else can do it for you. If you are unhappy with your job, find a way to change it. Maybe it would with a new position or even a new job. Many people are looking for the Mr. Right or Mrs. Right to marry and make them happy. Requiring someone else to be completely in charge of your happiness is a difficult and almost impossible thing to do. Many couples with this mentality often will run from the relationship when the person fails to live up to such a task. We must take responsibility for our own happiness and find it where we can. Although, I do know some people just can’t be happy no matter what the situation. They may have their dream job and will find something wrong with it.

Second, there's a saying that is attributed to many different people. It says that happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them. Every life will have its problems. People get sick, into accidents and run into a variety of different troubles. The difference between happy people and unhappy people is the ability to look for the silver linings in their lives regardless of their problems. For instance, when the family car gets into an accident, while the loss of a car is a burden, most people will be happy that no one was serious hurt or killed. Happy people tend to enjoy the little things in life than the stuff you can get or do. For me, happiness does come in the small things. It’s hanging out with my husband and my daughter. It’s hanging out at home watching football or a movie. It is laughing over a board game and enjoying home cooked meals.

Third, happiness usually comes when you sit back and relax. As Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” I like this quote because it describes how I used to live and how I have changed. I used to pursue and force happiness and it would only leave me disappointed and depressed. Until I sat back, let go and let God. Now I am happily married with a beautiful daughter. We may not have much but what we do have, we cherish. Sometimes what we can desperately trying to find will come to us when we relax and let it come. Sometimes it will come in ways we would have never imagined!

In conclusion, happiness isn’t the goal, it’s the journey. It’s in the moments as life happens. A common misconception is that a happy person has a happy life, that every moment is happy and good. Life just doesn’t work that way. Humans were made with a wide range of emotions. We get sad, angry, depressed, and annoyed. Just because we experience these emotions in the moment doesn’t mean we can’t have a happy life. In the life filled with struggles and strife, you sometimes can find the happiest people. Why? Because they look for the happiness in the everyday moments than in the whole picture. The example that comes to mind is the Tiny Tim Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, who is filled with happiness and positive thoughts despite being seriously ill. Sometimes having a Tiny Tim state of mind can go a long way.