Monday, June 30, 2014

Happiness...what exactly does that mean?

A common theme in my life right now is happiness. Those around me are in search of it, speaking of it, and contemplating every aspect of their lives in order to figure out what has been keeping them from truly being happy. As they each do some serious soul searching, I too, have been thinking a lot about the term happiness. My thoughts have been surrounded around the real meaning behind a word that can honestly have so many meanings to each and every person alive on this earth. The things that make you happy may not be the same for me and vise verse. So, with that being said can we actually help one another define a word that has so many definitions? Can we impact someones life and bring them happiness? Or does our impact on someones life only occur if the other person is willing to look inside themselves and be honest with what their heart is truly feeling? Personally, this journey of understanding, acknowledging, and "searching" for happiness began almost four years ago, the moment my dad was taken from this world. However, what I have come to find is that was a tragic event in my life that brought forth an issue that surfaced long before December 23rd, 2010. I have also come to realize that it is an issue that has been present in the lives of some of my closest friends for years and years.

According to Webster happiness is defined as the state of being happy, the state of well-being and contentment, as well as a pleasurable or satisfying experience. As I read these words and re-read these words I couldn't help but notice some very important details in how this ever so present word is described. First of all it says state of being happy or state of well-being. If you really think about what those words are saying it proves that happiness will not necessarily be an every second, every minute, or even every day feeling. A "state" is defined as a way of living or existing, which means your state of being is actually how you choose to live and exist in this world. As you look at the definition again, happiness is a way of living, it's your ability to be content with the way that your life is. Happiness is a choice, your choice, not anyone in your life but your own decision to accept the outcome of each situation in your life and be willing to use it to make your way of living better rather than worse.

Reading that last paragraph may upset you because if I wasn't sitting here writing it I would probably read that and feel a little bit of anger. It's a paragraph that puts a lot of pressure on each of us as an individual and most of the time humans hate having the blame placed on themselves. However, I want you to take a moment to actually sit there and contemplate a few things...

  1. First off, take a second to think about what truly makes you happy, whether it be people, places, stuff, or even entertainment.
  2. Next, why do those things bring you happiness?
  3. If those things did not exist, would you still be happy with yourself and your life?
  4. Are there things in your life that you feel you could not live without or go on living if they were to disappear? 
  5. If you answered yes to the previous question, are you thankful for those things or do you take those things for granted?
  6. Do you spend your time trying to improve your own life or do you expect others to improve it for you? 
  7. Lastly, when you find things that actually make you happy do you make a point to not only keep those things in your life but be grateful that you have found something that improves your life rather than making your life more difficult or more negative?
For the last three to almost four years of my life I have used the death of my father followed by the death of my grandma as an excuse to live the life I have been living. Every time I went through a difficult period of time, felt lost, searched for answers or whatever else you may want to call it, it ultimately would come back to the fact that I lost my father. Not only was this my inner feeling but outwardly it was every ones reaction or response. It was engraved in my head that I had reason to do all the things I was choosing to do because "I lost my father". The issue I have found with that is living my life in that way is absolutely no help to my future. Believing that is the source of my "unhappiness" isn't going to bring my father back. I have never expected people to feel sorry for me because in my heart I know and believe that every single one of us goes through life dealing with our own battles. Yes, some may seem more difficult than other's but the fact is comparing trials is a waste of precious time. Looking at others lives in jealousy is a waste of what God has placed you on this earth to fulfill because all those things that you may have listed above could be taken from you in the blink of an eye. Whether it be people, places, things or whatever else it may look like to you, those things could be ripped from you before you even know it and then what...? I will tell you what happens, you are left there alone trying to search for answers as to why you suddenly feel lost in a world that continues moving at a quick pace around you. It no longer matters who is around you. Those around you can't fix the way that you feel or choose to act. Those people can't replace what is missing in your heart. 

To answer one of the first questions I asked, people CAN NOT make you happy. People CAN influence your state of being by making experiences you have with them pleasurable or exciting. People CAN make your world a better place by loving you and joining in on the journey or path you have been chosen to walk, but people, things, or places CAN NOT be your only source of happiness. Happiness starts with your ability to wake up each morning in a different state of mind. It's your ability to look over all the negatives in your life and enjoy whatever positives may exist even if the only positive is the fact that you are still alive and breathing. People all across the world are fighting for their lives day in and day out. Don't you think that they wish that they could wake up without pain, with the ability to live a "normal" life and free of whatever burden is holding them back from being considered "normal" in a world that is far from it? Every one of us does it. At some time or another each and every one of us has woke up with the mind set of "poor me". The truth is the "poor me" attitude won't make anything better and the more you suffocate your life around that statement the worse off you are going to be. We all have it hard. This world is far from easy to live in and ultimately the state of being happy is something that is missing from so many lives. However, if the kid in a wheel chair, the man gasping for every breathe he can, the person battling a horrendous disease, or the every day American struggling to eat and live, can still find it in them to love and appreciate all aspects or even most aspects of their life, what is stopping you?

I am not perfect and I never once will claim to be. To be honest nothing is ever perfect. I have made a lot of terrible decisions and I have ran to some of the worse things I possibly could. I have treated people poorly and I have woke up for days, weeks, and even months hoping that people would feel sorry for my situation, that people would understand why my life at times has collapsed right before my eyes, and would also excuse the fact that I am still a very lost individual even after almost four years of time passing. The truth is not one of you should feel sorry for the way my life is because my life is my life and no matter how many trials I am forced to go through, each and every one of them has a purpose. The same goes for each of you. The struggles you have been through, the inner battle you deal with, the daily struggle of searching for what makes you happy has made you who you are. If your life had been any different, you would be different, and you may have missed out on certain events and people that have entered your life. Be grateful for the things that are currently in your life. Be grateful for the people in your life because they are in your life for a reason. You may not understand their purpose just yet, but they have purpose. Allow them to be apart of your journey. Allow them to walk beside you and help guide your steps. Don't expect them to make every day perfect but expect them to be there in those moments you really need a friend. That is what true friendship is all about. Every single aspect of your life has purpose but it starts with you being able to see those things and acknowledge the good rather than focusing on the bad. The longer you spend re-living the past whether it be how you treated people, how people treated you, decisions you made, bad choices or any other negative you can think of will ultimately only keep you further from being content with your current life and the possibilities of what your future could entail. 

Take some time to think about your life. Think about the things you are grateful for. If it's people in your life, tell them you are grateful for what they bring to your life because tomorrow they could be gone. Acknowledge the positives in your life. Acknowledge how far you have come from certain situations in your life that brought so much darkness, those situations that you could never see yourself making it through but you have. No matter where you started you have made gains in a positive direction but you can't allow yourself to fall back into how things used to be. The way things used to be is in the past and those things are keeping you from seeing what is right in front of you or even what is to come. I am grateful for my life. I am grateful for all the positives and negatives because they have made me the person I am today. I am thankful that I am still alive and able to write or do all the other things that I love to do. I am thankful for all the relationships in my life currently and in the past because they have taught me so much about myself, what I deserve, and what I want. I am thankful for you and that you have taken the time to read my blog. Be grateful. Appreciate your life, all aspects, good or bad. And always remember that giving up is the easy way out and doesn't make any ones life any easier.

God Bless,

No comments:

Post a Comment