Making Happiness Last
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” – Ben Sweetland
I get happiness.
At least I get what it is, and theoretically speaking, what it’s about. I often find myself reflecting as to why, we, as humans, are so conditioned to fight happiness at every twist and turn. I look at the animals in the backyard, and they frolic happily, eating the clover, eating my lettuce…wait, my lettuce! It took me 2 months, special glow lights in the basement, days of watering, keeping the kids and cats away from the seedlings, preparing the organic compost – ah, and now you little creature are taking a bite in such ignorant bliss??
See, there goes my happiness.
It was perfectly fine, until a moment passed and life happened. So, now I must get back on track. I must remember to be grateful. I must remember to hug my little ones. I must remember how simple it is to be happy; not complicating things by my narrow interpretation what should be. I must remember to soak in the moment when the sun shines, soak in the moment when the rain pours. Soaking it in – the good and the bad – allows to us feel whatever it is we need to feel, and move on.
There will always be something.
Whether it is the bunny in the yard or the fact that my oldest is headed off to first grade, (especially that my oldest is headed off to first grade)…there is always something that can disturb my peace, my happiness. Even though my youngest is still in diapers, I am fully aware of how fast time is going. I find myself mourning her infancy, despite nothing actually being wrong. Yet, my feelings, my perspective of my kids growing, that holds a whole host of emotions for me, one of which is pain and sadness.
And I don’t believe the key is necessarily always dancing around with a smile on, professing the glass as half full. I would be lying if I plastered a smile on saying everything is fine; they are healthy, they are growing. Great. I still hurt. Granted, only focusing on the sad and so-called negative points without looking for the good (as there is good and bad to everything) puts me at the other end of the spectrum with the glass half empty. I don’t want to be there either.
So, yes, I try to see the positive in things, in every situation. I am so very grateful my children are healthy and growing, as I would rather that than the opposite ten times over. However, if I solely focus on what only feels good, I may not fully accept all that is actually happening and end up tomorrow sitting in sadness I never dealt with from today. I mourn this stage, so I can fully enjoy the next one.
Feeling life as it happens.
By understanding not all days are going to be blissful without road bumps, we give ourselves the opportunity to feel and absorb the events of life as they happen. This space in between any situation and giving a name to our perspective (be it positive or negative) - this is where our true feelings can realize and growth happens.
Just because we feel sad or remorse does not mean we are rejecting happiness. Instead it means we can come full cycle in an event that may bring out parts of our own lives that need healing, so that we can move on to the next moment, and be available and open for the happiness to pour in. Until, of course, the squirrel digs up your newly planted baby greens.