The Positive Side of Medicine

The Search for Happiness

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The Search for Happiness

The first thing a person should learn about happiness is that it doesn’t have an “If” clause. If I had a nickel for every time I have heard it, I would be writing this from my dream home right now. The “If” clause is what people say related to happiness. IF I lost weight I would be happy. If I had a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse then I would be happy. If I had a better job, if I had a different nose, if I had different breasts, if I had the perfect kitchen, or the perfect home, if I had a vacation home, if I had a better spouse, if I had children, if I took that trip to Europe, even if I had that piece of cake THEN I would finally be happy. Nope. Wrong. It’s too easy. Happiness is much easier, and much more difficult, than that.

Wherever you go, there you are. That thought came to me years ago, when I was running from my past and things I didn’t want to face, so I switched jobs often, I moved a lot, I went on a lot of first dates that were “wrong” for one reason or another. But, wherever you go, there you are. You cannot run away from yourself, or tell yourself to be quiet, or even medicate your feelings into submission. The hard work of happiness begins with really looking inside yourself and facing your fears, and please stop worrying about what other people think! That has to do with their happiness, it has nothing to do with yours.

You know yourself better than anyone else, but if you are continually doing the same things and nothing changes, consider seeing a therapist, please. They are professional listeners who have learned ways to really listen, bring things out, challenge your mind into a new mode of thinking, and they won’t judge you. You should not judge yourself so harshly either. Talk nice about yourself, give yourself some love and compassion.

Much like Dorothy and her red shoes, you already possess everything you need to make you happy, it’s in your heart, in your mind, waiting for you to take possession of your own happiness. Study children, listen to the things that make them laugh. Almost all children are innately happy, they take great delight in anything new, they engage with other children, they play silly games, they have no fear, at least, not compared to the multitude or worries that trouble the average adult.

Children have a great gift for accepting what they see, believing in magic, and having fun anywhere and everywhere… unless it involves sitting still. Once we learn to “sit still and behave” we are just not as much fun anymore. Reclaiming your inner joy is the first step to being happy. Think about what makes you happy, and do it.

Buy a 99 cent bottle of soap with a wand and go outside and blow bubbles, preferably on a sunny day so you can see the pretty colors. Take a flower and really inspect it, admire every petal and every leaf. Eat a graham cracker with chocolate milk for a snack and enjoy it. Laugh out loud when something tickles you. Bloom where you are planted.

No one on earth can make you happy, except you. Happiness is not made of things, not does it come from them. Happiness is the power of joy. Happiness is taking all the small parts out of the whole. Happiness is smelling wild sage growing as you get close to home, seeing your high school football team win the Homecoming game, it’s a favorite old quilt or the first afghan you ever made, a scoop of ice cream on a summer day, a smile on a loved one’s face, it’s finding the joy in random small moments and making it huge. Really seeing the way the moon hits the trees in your yard and being grateful. This is where happiness is found.

Wherever you go, there you are. Enjoy each moment as much as you can, because it is never coming back. That does not mean to overload yourself either. If you enjoy lying in a hammock with a glass of tea and a good book, that is pure joy right there. As Agnes Repellier said, “It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” Go. Find your happiness. Enjoy it.

About the author:
MamaSteph has 2 kids by birth and several by love, she is a nurse and enjoys finding healthier ways to make comfort foods, gardening, enjoying nature, and living life to the fullest…For a list of her blogs please click here.


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