Happiness – noun
1. the quality or state of being happy
2. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
Happiness is not a right. It is not owed to you. Though, I believe there are some tragedies that deserve to have some happiness, if not full-blown happiness. In America you are given the freedom for the ‘pursuit of happiness’, but it is not a given, hence the word pursuit. Happiness is going to very hard pressed to find if you are searching for it outside yourself. Doesn’t mean it can’t be done, it just will be hard to find. You need to have it begin within.
What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree.
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Depression makes happiness very difficult to achieve. You know you should feel it but it alludes you. In some of the deepest despair it may not even peek out at you. I have known that type of depression. I tried so hard to find the happiness that I saw in other’s and could not see it. It was like having on blinders. Then there were times, when my depression lessened, that I could actually feel happiness through my tears.
Happiness is universal, but it is also different for each individual. There may be things I am happy about, that wouldn’t be considered a happy moment to someone else. Children’s laughter makes me happy, but I know of, at least, one person who absolutely hates it. She thinks it is just loud noise and inconsiderate. There must be something she would find happiness in that I would not, I’m just not sure what that is.
I have known people who are filled with happiness and optimism. Those people simply amaze me. They always see the bright side of things. They find happiness in places others have overlooked. They quote inspiration on a daily basis. These are the people who have learned to find happiness within and not count on it to be outside of them. I am trying to understand how this is done. I’m afraid life taught me different lessons and I find happiness hard to achieve outside or within. They may have had similar life experiences, but they have learned how to overcome. I know I could learn more by understanding them.
Happiness is a gift, an achievement. It is laughter. It is a smile deep within one’s soul. If you depend on other’s to give it to you, you will not find happiness. You need to open yourself to it. Decide what it actually means to you. It is achievable, even in the darkness.
I think happiness is very over-rated in our culture today. People become so dissatisfied when they are unable to sustain perpetual happiness, that they wind up giving up and meaningful and joyful relationships.
I think that is what happens when people expect to find happiness outside themselves. It is when we can appreciate the little things that, I believe, we can truly achieve happiness. I also think it has a great deal to do with gratefulness.