Are you happy?

When was the last time you stopped someone and asked if they were happy? Not if they were doing good, but if they were really happy. Not outwardly, not momentarily, not according to what society labels as being happy and fulfilled, but deep within. What about yourself? Have you asked yourself that question lately? Are you happy? Take a moment to think before you answer.

 

Sometimes it seems as though we are not allowed to claim happiness for us. To do things because they make us happy. We have responsibilities, to do lists, goals, and things we must achieve. But is happiness on that bucket list too? There are many definitions of happiness: For most, it's a momentary state of joy. But what about the long-term? What if that person or thing that makes you happy right now were taken away? Would you still be happy? While many people think that happiness comes naturally, I believe it is something you have to learn. Something that requires you to unlearn and let go of some things and to dig deep within yourself to unravel real happiness. As much as you might think that happiness has something to do with your surroundings, it has everything to do with you. It's a state of mind.

 

What I mean by that can be better explained by looking at the opposite of happiness, which is a state of unhappiness. The reason why things make us unhappy is most of the time our response or  reaction to an unfulfilled expectation. We expected to be treated, spoken to, acknowledged or rewarded a certain way but weren't. The result is a feeling of disappointment and unhappiness. So, what if somebody surprises you with a gift you weren't expecting at all? You would feel happy, right? Exactly, so the key here is your expectations. If you could strip yourself of the expectations and things you have put in your head, you could potentially feel happy all the time. Why? The reason is that you would positively receive the things happening around you - without expectations.

 

Does that mean we shouldn't have standards and values? Of course not, we should, and these things are necessary because they serve as our moral compass. But what you can do, is focus more on the positive things that contribute to your happiness. Even in times of grief, we can find joy if we open our hearts. "It is the same with you. Now you are sad, but I will see you again, and you will be happy, and no one will take away your joy." John 16:22 NCV Bottom line is, you are the author of your happiness. If you don't like your story, then change the narrative!

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