By Dawn Miller, Client Relations Manager at On Target Living
I was asked by a co-worker of mine, to write a blog about “being happy.” She seems to think I am “happy” most of the time and wanted me to share some things I might be doing to keep a positive attitude. So, like a good student, I sat down to write a blog, very excited to share this incredible secret that I hold, complete with tips on “H.A.P.P.I.N.E.S.S.” and spreading it to others. Simple. A 30-minute project.
So, this is what really happened.
I wrote, re-wrote, erased, wrote some more, erased, questioned my writing skills, went for a short walk to clear my head, didn’t like anything I had written, so deleted several hours’ worth of thoughts and ideas.
I then stared at the blank computer screen for a few minutes… and quit.
I love to write. I write all the time. I am in the middle of writing a book for goodness sake, so why can’t I write about this seemingly simple topic? Especially since someone thinks I have insight and answers?
So, after putting my assignment away for a few weeks, I am back at it again. However, this time around, with a fresh slate and a different mindset, I am discovering that although I’ve experienced happiness many times, I’m really not happy.
Now before you think this is going in a negative direction, hang with me a bit and keep in mind this thinking derives from my own experiences, and most of all–my beliefs.
I’m not a researcher, I don’t have a doctorate, and I haven’t written a book on this topic–yet. My knowledge base and expertise comes from the mere fact that I have been alive for 49 years, have largely lived a blessed life, but not without the thunderstorms of lessons learned and sprinkles of hardship and disappointment. With that statement, you might be thinking “hmmm…well, good for her, doesn’t sound like she has been through the tough things that I have!” Well, that could be true, or could it be that I just look at life a little differently?
I am not a cancer survivor, although I’ve sat through chemo treatments and cried heartbreaking tears with those who are. I have not been homeless, although I’ve spent many hours talking with those who are and volunteering time to care and love them. I haven’t lost a job and worried where my next paycheck will come from, but I did leave a job I was passionate about because of circumstance beyond my control. I haven’t lost a child, but I have dried and cried many tears for a child who felt lost. I’ve not lost a parent, but I watched my mother-in law, who I loved so much, deteriorate from dementia.
I believe that happiness is temporary. A job promotion, the birth of a child, a birthday gift, losing weight—all of these scenarios would probably make any of us “happy.” But does the event sustain us? What happens after you move into your new job/office and the “hard work” begins? How do you feel when that new “bundle of joy” comes home and cries for the first week straight? Do you even remember the birthday gifts you received for your birthday last year? And what about all that weight you lost generic viagra for sale. Did you gain any back? Are you satisfied with your progress? I think you may be following my thoughts. Happiness is fleeting. Happiness is temporary. Happiness is not sustainable.
What happens when disappointment sets in? Most of us can probably already log several moments today that we have been disappointed, irritated, frustrated, or even downright ANGRY. How did you react to those emotions?
I haven’t always been able to say this, but sometime in the past 15 years of my life I can say that I have been given an “inner peace”. A contentment that comes from knowing that I have very little control over the things that happen in my day, but I do have control of how I react. I have learned to make choices of how I will react before disappointment sets in. I have learned to “let it go” before it arrives. I choose to live “in the moment” because the past truly is gone, and tomorrow isn’t even here, yet. I have chosen to be “okay” with the person that I am–filled with flaws and not wanting to be “someone else” for “someone else.” I’ve made choices. This place I am in, I call it “joy.” A place of inner peace.
So, how? There may be other ways, but for me, I have found that mine comes from God and having faith in someone greater than myself. Faith that everything that happens — happens for a reason, and I am just a small part of a BIGGER plan.
You see, to me, happiness is like the feel of warm sunshine on my face, while joy is knowing that when the sun sets, it will rise again in the morning and shine just as brightly tomorrow. It might be hidden behind the clouds, but I always know it’s there.
So if you are ever just sitting… and… thinking… and wondering if you are “happy” or in a “happy place,” remember this: “Happy” might just be that. A place. A place to be from time to time, but not a permanent state of “being.”
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