What is Happiness to You?
“Happiness is more than a mood.
It’s a long-lasting state that is more accurately called well-being.”
I read a brilliant article recently by Deepak Chopra about how to stop being sad. He warns against using positivity as an antidote to sadness saying that reality is what is needed, not positivity.
I’d been struggling to return to happiness since my son Alex died in August of 2012. At times I felt I would never truly be happy again. This is reality for me – things will never be as they were before. But Deepak Chopra is talking about a different way of looking at happiness; something I felt was achievable – even by me.
He writes: “Sadness comes and goes. Well-being can be made to last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter how close you feel to this highly desirable state or how far. For everyone, well-being is a journey.”
The idea of well-being seized my imagination. I felt strangely comforted by the idea of well-being so I decided I would begin to cultivate it in myself.
When I would begin to feel sad I would gently but firmly remind myself, “No. Well-being” and focus on the idea of well-being. I did this again and again and it braced me.
It sounds like such a simple thing, not capable of making a profound change in anyone’s life yet that’s exactly what it’s doing in mine.
I’m feeling more “solid” than I’ve ever felt before; calm, steady and grounded. The din in my head seems to have quieted and the silence that remains is allowing me to see more! I’m where I’ve always wanted to be – in the moment – aware! I’ve even caught myself feeling good for no apparent reason.
I don’t even know who I am anymore!
We’ve had many discussions on the porch about being in the moment. I suggested on this post that it is hard to stay in the present because too often the present moments are reenactments of dynamics that caused wounds that are ready to be healed. I’ve spent so much time pulling weeds from the garden of my life and now it feels as if I am sitting in the grass enjoying the feel of the sun on my face.
Wait! That’s how I feel when I’m in my happy place.
Have you ever thought about well-being as a definition of happiness? Does it feel different to think of it that way? What is happiness to you?
Photo Credit: Cornelia Kopp