What Is Happiness?

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Lately I have been thinking a lot about happiness…as in… what is it really, how do we get it and most importantly how do we hold on to it?

Sometimes I know what happiness is. It is a warm cuddle with a baby who looks at you, eyes wide, and smiles so broad you wonder how it is contained on such a small face. It is laying my head on my husband’s chest and feeling its rhythmic rise and fall and with it the feeling that everything will fine in all that we have created. It is writing the ‘perfect’ piece in which you feel you have gotten your point across and a bit of your own humanity as well.

But, I wonder, is happiness suppose to be this fleeting…small moments in time that when added together don’t account for all that much? And what is the difference between being content or feeling joy? Is joy just happiness on steroids and is contentment just joy three times removed? Or is happiness just a deep appreciation for a moment felt whether it lasts three seconds or five minutes? And the big question… how do I feel more of all of these positive feelings and hold them in my hand like pearls savoring their smoothness, shape, color and beauty?

I once had a friend named John who swore he never had a bad day. His secret, he told me, was that he would get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say out loud, “John, you are going to have a great day!” And according to him he always did. For John, a “great day” was simply a state of mind, a place that his mind took him to and stayed with him there as the hours counted down from midnight and back.

I’m not sure what happiness really is but I know I would like to experience more of it and expand that feeling for a longer period of time when I do happen upon it. I would like to find more of that “elusive state of mind” that allows happiness to be seen easily and enjoyed fully. And finally, I would like to one day be able to define for myself and others exactly what it is because until I can answer question I suspect that it will remain a random feeling instead of a large part of my everyday life.

So here’s to happiness…may it find us all easily and may we chose to see it when it arrives.

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