Where is Happiness? Monday Meanderings


 This morning as I sat down to reflect and meditate, this thought came to me out of nowhere: What has made you happy? What have been the happiest moments of your life?

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

My first thoughts turned to special occasions—those monumental moments in life. (I’ll allow you to list your own), but I couldn’t stay there. Think about it. I bet for many of us a wedding day or the birth of a child came to mind right away. I can’t argue with those. But aren’t those kind of events just a bit tainted with anxiety, even fear. Consider the pain and risks of childbirth. Perhaps more significant would be those private moments leading up to the big ones—when you realized you were in love with someone you were willing to spend a lifetime caring for, the day you knew you were pregnant, or the first time your baby smiled at you.

Photo: Jennifer Wilcox

Photo: Jennifer Wilcox

I believe happiness is found in those little things—the ones known only to you or shared with a loved one. The happiest moments in my life have been ones that awakened a spiritual awareness, those in which I’ve realized I love and am loved. Perhaps to a lesser degree, times when I’ve been immersed in nature and those in which I’m rapt/wrapped in the creative process—writing or painting.

Happiness, I suspect, is about the present moment, is embedded in the Now. This is the only place it can happen. To be sure, I revel in happy memories and anticipate things I’m looking forward to. But memories can be embellished by imagination and the future is elusive.

Photo: guidebookfordysfunctional.blogspot.com

Photo: guidebookfordysfunctional.blogspot.com

I don’t think any of us will say that life has been easy. Mine hasn’t. But my life, such as it has been, is what brings me to today where I can choose to live well, to find happiness.

Please share a happy thought. That will help us remember more of our own

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19 thoughts on “Where is Happiness? Monday Meanderings

  1. dragonkatet says:

    Happiness is…a rowdy, 6-week old kitten, full of fluffy courage. :) I think there are subtle differences between happiness, joy and contentment. They are all intertwined and perhaps it could be said it’s just a matter of semantics, but it seems to me that joy is the one which is the hardest to hold on to. Happiness lasts a bit longer, and contentment lasts the longest of the three. It’s funny, because happiness really does come from within, and yet, there are so many external things which can influence it. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

  2. claudia says:

    happiness is in the little things…i would agree… often it’s totally unexpected and fleeting… which makes it even more precious…

  3. Amita Patel says:

    Thanks for your post! You’re absolutely right, happiness isn’t the big things we spend the majority of our time stressing over, Rather, it’s a collection of the little moments. Thanks for the reminder :) The feeling of my dog cuddled up against me is my happy moment for the day!
    Much Love,
    Amita
    http://www.AlignedHolistics.com

  4. Neeks says:

    What a wonderful post, I loved it. A nice thought? What a future the world would have if we had true peace across the globe on Christmas night. If everyone honestly had peace in their hearts for one night – how could anyone not want to keep it forever?

  5. Mary says:

    I do think we can remember our times of happiness in the past….and I do too…but we have to have our doors open to happiness in the present and look forward to happiness in the future to feel fully alive. There is no substitute for the happiness of TODAY; and that is the best gift of all for this holiday season…to be truly happy TODAY.

  6. tigerbrite says:

    In the autumn of my life I no longer struggle and am fortunate now to be truly cherished. Meditation has brought me the comfort of spirit.

  7. brian miller says:

    life is often what we make of it…happiness is there to be found if we look for it…i think in life we are on a happiness quest…always looking for something that will make us happy and we often look in the wrong places trying to find it…or fill that space, you know….most of mine involve people….

  8. scillagrace says:

    May all beings be happy! and isn’t that what you wish for your children? not for success or fame or wealth but for genuine happiness…peace, contentment, joy. May it be so for us all.

  9. Without having children there are moments of pure joy were you indulge in things where anticipation is finally released into that pure joy, untainted by fear and pain… I remember a few years ago when I finally got to see “the Wall”… I had wished to see it when I was to young and it was only played in London, I missed when it was played in Berlin after the Berlin-wall being too preoccupied with my thesis and its aftermath.. and then it was played in Stockholm… I remember my wife said I was acting like a little child, jumping up and down and singing loud.. I had totally lost control in pure unrestricted joy…

    Such simple moments are important to treasure..

  10. Definitely the arrival of my children and grandchildren at the top of the list. The euphoria of playing right through the Mozart clarinet concerto, a year after starting to learn the instrument at 50; my graduation ceremony at 72, My pride in reading my grandson’s first published poem in an anthology. Come to that, my first acceptance – simultaneously in two publications, of a short story and a poem.
    I’ve had a lot of happy moments.

  11. K. A. Brace says:

    A thought well in need to remind ourselves of Victoria. >KB

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