Thursday, August 25, 2016
Maria Schulz's Blog by Tales From A Hungry Life about "8 Great Ways To Pursue Happiness" got me thinking and at this late stage of life that is an accomplishment, but I digress. My thoughts centered about what happiness really is and why do some seem to have it but most only get little bits of it along the way of life. There are many definitions of happiness but I like Wikipedia's:
"Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states may also reflect judgments by a person about their overall well-being."
Some synonyms are "pleasure, contentment and satisfaction".
By definition then happiness is spiritual, something that comes from within. Be that as it may be happiness many time is a reaction to how things and people outside of us can affect our happiness. The most severe actions such as what happens when prejudice affects our surroundings such as the Nazi's actions against the Jewish people as well as the Jim Crow Laws that perpetuated slavery in these United States. Hard to remain happy when one is always afraid of being killed. Wouldn't you say?
But even in the most usual cases where the loss of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness isn't being interrupted by Governments we find ourselves letting things and people outside of ourselves affect our inner-most feeling of contentment and satisfaction. Starting from when we are just little children we are feeling rejection when our parents may discipline us or instructors try to beat knowledge into us instead of teaching us in a manner we can understand. Parental rejection, rejection of any kind coming from an authority destroys self confidence affecting our feeling of satisfaction and contentment. One of the worst attacks on our happiness comes from rejection by one we love. Relationships, be they marriage or other-wise including friendships can either be a building of self worth or a destruction of self worth depending upon acceptance or rejection of one of the partners.
I maintain happiness can be found even in the most dire situations if we rely on our own self worth not what our lover may think of us or the impediments that are placed before us by despots or tyrants of any kind. Whether you believe or not you have to admit the blood of martyrs was the foundation upon which Christianity was built and these people went happy to die for the cause because they dug deep within their spirit to have a joy that couldn't be destroyed by the lions, the Romans, the crowds that gave "thumbs down".
Many a romance is shattered because one of the partners become disenchanted for whatever reason and the rejected one is destroyed because self worth has been crumbled. But if the rejected one did all he/she could and they have a feeling of self love which is necessary for one to bear the slings and arrows of this world then they could accept the fact that people change and that change has nothing to do with them more than likely it has to do with the person who changed. Then while no one likes to see relationships to dissolve it becomes time to move on with each one feeling the inner peace and contentment that gives a feeling of happiness even in what seems to be sad occurrences.
Even when death comes and one remains the grieving, the loss should not take away all happiness especially if when alive both parties gave their best to whatever the relationship might have been. The feeling of satisfaction remains and life must go on.
Most important in every situation is the ability to see the humor in it even if it may be dark humor. Laughter is a must if one is to be happy. Most important if the laughter that is directed at one's self. We all make mistakes. We all look foolish at one time or another. We all must be able to laugh at ourselves and then move on.
Happiness is not material it is spiritual coming from deep inside a person's soul, a gift from God or "The Gods" if you prefer. But wealth, travel, doing as well as the other guy all that is BS. Being satisfied that you did as well as you could, loving yourself and your neighbor is the key to happiness.