Friday, January 28, 2011

happiness is...

What makes a person happy?

What makes them content?

What makes it possible to sit, wrapped around a cup of coffee in the still of the early morning, before the kids roll out of bed, and not want more than what you have at that very moment?

Certainly I derive some contentment from others: My friends, my family, my children... But if that were all, then the absence of these factors would result in, what? Depression? An inability to find contentment in my life? God I hope not, then I'm placing too heavy a burden at their feet.
No. I've learned over the past few years that happiness has to come from within.
That by putting happiness up as a goal to be reached, it will almost always fail you. And if you put that goal, that onus on others, they will most assuredly fail you. You cannot apply a litmus test to friendships and relationships. They are not built that way.

Happiness is not the goal.
Happiness is part of the journey.
And my god, what a journey it is sometimes.

Happiness is not joy, although joy is a part of it. A snapshot of it. A moment. A heartbeat of happiness.
Happiness is not love, although this too can play a role.
Happiness is confidence, in who you are and where you are.
It is in how you react to others. It is in how you listen to the beat of your own heart.
It is not a state of being, but a way of life.
It is something to be reinforced daily, because it is of importance.

How can I teach my children happiness and the joy of simplicity if I do not know it intimately?
How can I build for them an environment of care and happiness, of safety and security, without first finding happiness for myself?
Well, I can't. It's as simple as that.

And so, just as my happiness is not built or dependent upon others, neither can another take it away from me.
It is innate.
It is continually replenished.
You cannot destroy it or tarnish it in any way.
It is not affected by outside stimuli like hatred or pettiness or sickness or disease.

A bad day is just that. One bad day. One moment. Quickly forgotten.

Sometimes, I just need to remember that.


  1. You can't teach your children how to be happy, but you can teach them to appreciate the simple things in life. I think that the happiest people are those that not only recognize the beauty in day to day life but bask in its glory.

    "Hold out your hands to feel the luxury of the sunbeams." - Helen Keller

  2. I love this. I want permission to repost it on my blog (SparkPage) with credit to you...pretty please? I think people over there would eat it up. And we should be eating up inspiration...not food. ;) hahaha. I just kill myself sometimes.

  3. Steph... go for it luv! It's just know how I do. haha. xo

  4. Re-post can be found here...along with a mini-tribute to Caralyn and Steph! :)

  5. Awww...honey...that was lovely. And I cried a little too. xoxoxoxoxo

  6. Also, I adore your sparkblog...I go back and read it whenever I'm looking for inspiration...because your style lends itself so well to any situation. <3

  7. This is such a beautiful post! I stumbled across your blog looking for pictures of "happiness" on google images haha! :) But, I'm so glad it took me here. You are completely right. Thank you for the reminder.

    God bless,
    Taylor J. Beisler

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments. And thank you for commenting at all, that really means a lot!


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