Real happiness, that deep down soul level happiness, can be one of the most elusive things to obtain in this life. Many of us will spend the bulk of our years searching it out, and usually always in all the wrong places. It’s typically not until we get much older that we begin to gain an understanding of how happiness really works. That is what this blog post is about. Happiness. What it really is, and how in the world do we really obtain it?
The definition of happiness reads like this, “happiness; the state of being happy.” Uhh, okay. that’s kind of vague. The dictionary tells you what happiness is, but not how to get it. That would be too easy.
It’s only in recent years that I have slowly begun to understand that things, nor people, have the ability or the responsibility to make me happy. I am personally guilty in the past of depending on people for my happiness.
Luckily for me, my sanity, and the sanity of those I was subconsciously putting all of that pressure on, I had an epiphany. I have slowly begun to see, that if I want to be truly happy, and in turn spread that happiness outward to those around me, I am 100% in charge of creating my own happiness and joy.
All too often, we fall into the trap of expectation. Expecting our husbands, children, friends, pastors, etc., to “make us happy” Why do we do that? I believe it is because, and this is just my theory, that being TRULY happy takes a lot of work.
We need to put in the effort it takes. But what effort would that be? What does it look like?
We will touch on that, but first I want to go back to that epiphany I mentioned. One day while going about my business, not thinking about anything in particular, it hit me like a lightning bolt. The understanding that I had never had before about real happiness.
“I have GOT to start creating my OWN happiness!”
So then began the research into the matter. Turns out, a quick Google search will send you into information overload! There are endless blogs, articles, informative pieces, and even studies done on the topic of happiness, and how to attain it.
But for the sake of time, I will sum it all up…YOU and only you can make YOU happy! Start by having a real honest conversation with yourself. Do you expect your significant other to make you happy? Or your parents, or children? Do you find yourself looking to things or food or even your pets for happiness?
I’m guilty of every one of those things at one point or another, but now I am working hard at shifting my perspective and my expectations, because if we aren’t careful and we continuously put our own self-care on the back burner by always putting ourselves last, while expecting our happiness to be provided to us by someone other than yourself, we’re at a real risk of becoming bitter, angry, and unhappy. Our families can definitely bring smiles to our hearts, and that’s just a bonus.
So what does creating your own happiness look like? Well, for me it is starting my day with scripture, meditation, prayer, and gratitude. As well as positive mantras, because sometimes we have to tell ourselves something over and over again until we begin to believe it. Smiling in the face of adversity also does wonders for me. Happiness is a state of mind, and once you realize that, the world around you begins to look a little different.
Realizing that you are indeed in charge of your state of mind is a very freeing feeling. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it takes effort, hard work, and patience. One doesn’t become “unhappy” overnight, so don’t expect to change all at once. But do have that honest conversation with yourself. Make a list of the things you think would bring you happiness, then mark it all out and write “ME”.