“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” -Unknown
Okay, I’m done.
I mentioned in my blog post, Cake or Pie?, that part of the meaning of life is to find happiness and purpose. Well, at least my definition of the meaning of life. But, what does it mean to find happiness? How do you find happiness? I’ll be honest here, I don’t fucking know the “correct” way to find happiness. There are so many ways you can go about finding a lasting happiness. And even more ways to find happiness for a moment.
I struggle with depression and anxiety, obviously I am no where near happy all the time. But usually, when I’m going through a Depressive Episode, I can still at least find something, anything, to be happy about. Unless depression has fully consumed me and by that point, I can’t find a damn thing to be happy about. In those depressive moments, happiness found in things and people and events can be a saving grace. But, as soon as you crawl into bed, the depression is back.
Lasting happiness is not in things, people, places, events, or life situations. A homeless man can have lasting happiness while a Kardashian could be miserable. True happiness isn’t found in the amount of money in your bank account, the job you have, or the partner in your life. Sure, those things contribute to it, but take them away and are you still able to be happy (once you get past the grieving, that is)?
True happiness comes from within yourself. It comes from the way you talk to yourself, the way you treat yourself, and the way you decide to view the things around you.
Like today, I was trying to write a completely different blog post and my boyfriend was outside with me. I was trying to get used to writing around him so that I can still give you all great content while on vacation. But, he kept interrupting me. Which was fine, until he started to describe a fixed blade utility knife in detail and read the reviews to me. At first, I was so annoyed. But then, I caught myself and reminded myself that this is something he’s interested in, it means something to him. I smiled, told him I love him, and then politely let him know that if he is to interrupt me to keep it short. But I wasn’t annoyed anymore, I found it cute once I thought about it.
Happiness also comes from finding the beauty around you in every day life. Which is difficult for me at the moment because there’s a giant ass mosquito flying around and it’s scary.
Anyway, (takes deep breath to find courage to keep writing with this thing flying around) we have to find things to be grateful for, to appreciate. I could simply look around me right now and be all like, “I just cleaned this patio and now it’s a mess again. What the hell?” Or, I could look beyond the few things that are out of place and notice the beautiful things in sight.
So, I’ve got a challenge for you. Pick the place you spend the most time. Whether it’s your desk at work, your living room, or wherever, pick a place. For me, it’s my patio, as my readers probably know by now. And then, take photos of 4 (or more) different things that are beautiful to you. It can be anything, even the simplest of things.
My boyfriend and my fur baby are beautiful to me. Without them, I’d be so alone and sad. See, finding happiness in a person. But they mean the world to me. Also, I’m not finding happiness in just him, by the way, but he does contribute to it.
My favorite coffee mug. I love it because it’s a To Write Love On Her Arms coffee mug. And it reminds me that it’s okay to need someone. It’s okay to need my best friend, it’s okay to need my boyfriend. People need community and support. It’s okay.
Being able to plan out blog posts. I feel like my writing has gotten so much better since I’ve begun to plan it out. Get all the thoughts out on paper first, and then write. I feel it helps the pieces flow better and it makes me feel more confident because I won’t forget an idea.
My succulent plants. Lately, I’ve just been finding plants so pretty. They add life to an otherwise dull room. Also, I don’t have to water them often.
Another thing that adds to lasting happiness is being kind to others. Just giving people a break and being that nice person they ran into that day. It can be as simple as waving at someone who let you pass while driving, opening a door for someone, or smiling if you make eye contact. You can even go as far as volunteering somewhere. Something I’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t yet found the courage to do so.
Finding your purpose in life can also be a great help. I’m not talking your purpose is to be a writer or whatever your job is. That’s not your purpose, that’s just what you happen to do. Your purpose runs deeper than that.
For me, I was lucky. I didn’t know what my purpose was until my therapist asked me what it is. I knew the answer right away. To inspire people and to be happy. I’ve always known since I was a child that I wanted to inspire as many people as I possibly could. I just didn’t know how I’d go about it. Today, I believe I will become a therapist and that’s how I’ll inspire people. But, that could change tomorrow.
Ask yourself, what’s the one thing you’ve always wanted to do? Beyond a career. Is it to inspire people? Is it to be a great mother or father? Is it to be an adventurer? Whatever it is, figure it out and then find a way to act on it. Right now, I’m taking action by writing my blog posts. That’s all that I can do in the moment to inspire. And I just hope I’m doing a good enough job.
Lastly, finding happiness tends to include a higher power. For me, it’s God. I’m a Christian. And will write this from a Christian perspective however, I totally respect if your higher power is Buddha or the universe or whatever you believe in.
My faith in God brings me happiness. Not in the things he does for me, but in the way that he always loves and never leaves. He’s been the one constant in my life no matter how much I’ve fucked up and strayed away. He’s always there I when I come back. He’s never given up on me. I know this because I’ve done some shit. I’ve lied, cheated, stolen, slept around, done drugs, and the list goes on. Yet, He’s still there. He forgives, He loves. He still takes care of me and shows that through blessings every day.
What are your ways to finding lasting happiness? How do you act on any of the things I’ve mentioned above? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comments make me happy!