I was talking to a friend the other night. I asked, "what brings you complete happiness?" I was expecting a simple answer like hot chocolate on a cold day, a baby's laugh, the way my Grandma and Grandpa's house smells when they have cooked a roast. Instead the answer was something like, "if you believe in happiness then you'll never achieve it..." I can't remember the answer word for word but I was caught off guard. I've considered myself a deep thinker but at the same time I like to keep things light. As the conversation continued I think I got a better understanding of what he was talking about.
He likened the state of happiness as when we're experiencing most pain. Like when I lost my leg and the pain I experienced, maybe at that moment and that experience is when I was truly happy. During these painful experiences is when we realize the things we're most grateful for. I'm not sure if I'm understanding his way of thinking but this conversation left me wondering. What is true happiness and how does one achieve it?
I of course took to my Google search engine among other books and references. One website I found defined Happiness as a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Dr. Ellen Kenner defines happiness as an emotion. "The emotion of happiness is not caused simply by entertaining your whims. Whims are an obstacle to happiness. Happiness is not merely a life lived by accumulating moments of pleasure. Happiness is a long lasting enduring enjoyment of life, it is being in love with living."
For me, accumulating moments of pleasure reminds me that I am happy. A ride up the canyon and seeing what a beautiful earth we live on. I love the smell of the mountains. Looking at the stars at night never fails to amaze me. I love full moons. My family and seeing them happy. Crying together when needed and supporting each other during hard times. Working hard to achieve a goal. Cooking pasta. Eating pasta. Playing with my dog. Cuddling with my dog. The smell of rain. The first snow of the season. Christmas lights. Watching the trees turn colors in the Fall. Trick or treaters. Good times with friends. Sleeping in on Saturday mornings. Staying up late on Friday nights. Playing cards with my nieces. Playing cards with Melonie. Playing cards with my mom. Blasting my music. A productive day at work. Campfires! #9 dinners. Girls night out. Alone time. Writing in my journal. Receiving an unexpected "I love you" text. A nice post from a friend on Facebook. A new Glamour magazine. Laughing so hard tears run down my face, my side starts to hurt, then makeup runs in my eyes and starts to burn and my tears turn into tears of pain but, I'm still laughing. Christmas baking with my mom and Aunt June. Thanksgiving, the kick off to the holiday season! My list of little accumulated pleasures can go on and on...
I am completely in love with living and completely happy!