Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder. Thoreau
Nothing you will read here is new. And most certainly it is something that you may have heard or read about before. In all honesty, more than anything else, this is just an attempt to explain the meaning and importance of happiness in my own life. And if it makes any sense, you will end up doing the same.
Happiness. A word so often used and abused ; A feeling that inevitably controls our actions; An emotion that has different meanings for everyone, but essentially its all the same. An idea so elementary yet so complicated that we spend our entire lives running after it like children chasing rainbows- Its there somewhere, yet its not.
Admittedly, I have no life-changing philosophy about the pursuit of happiness. But in all my years as a person trying to live a happy life, I have realized two basic things:
First, happiness is everyone’s right. So if any person you come across says they are not happy, they are wrong; they are being unfair. Just because they may have to work slightly harder to feel joy in their hearts, does not mean they have to negate it altogether. Just because the entire universe may be hell-bent on sabotaging their lives, does not mean they have to deny themselves of a God given right that appears and disappears as swiftly as a fluttering butterfly. It’s not just for your rich neighbor who has it all. It’s not there solely for your school mate with the best career. Happiness is a all-pervasive right. Of course its never as easy as these made up words make it out to be. Like all important things in life, you have to work for it, while at other times it comes as easy as breathing. It’s not a miraculous intervention from the heavens. The feeling will not suddenly materialize when you land the perfect job, or marry the most beautiful spouse. If that were the case, the most successful businessmen, actors, celebrities would be the happiest people on Earth. Some are, but then many are not. If that were the case, all ordinary people would be the unhappiest creatures to have existed; Never to have a smile caress their lips; never to have their hearts jump with joy.
If you are alive then you most certainly can find joy in some hidden corner of your life. Look harder. Look closer. That is all.
Second, its not in the big things. We all have heard this somewhere along the way. In philosophical one-liners, from inspirational speakers, or as quotes on beautiful landscape portraits on our facebook pages. They are not speaking rubbish. It’s as true as the rain. Happiness is the feeling that comes along the way. It comes during the struggle. It appears during the journey, at every pit stop, at every intermission. Life has an interesting way of jolting our happy cells from slumber; usually through things that never get their due credit. In the twinkle of your child’s eye. In the hearty laugh of your parents. In that heart to heart with an old friend. During an old board game match with your sibling. Or when you get to read a good book without interruption. Or enjoying ice cream without any guilt. Or when your mom cooks your favorite meal for dinner without being asked to. Or when your husband surprises you by coming home early from a work trip. Or when you get a discounted shopping deal at the grocery store.
It appears in the nuts and bolts of daily life. These crumbs of joy, one triviality at a time, are all responsible for the joy that our hearts feel. That is precisely why it is for every man, woman and child that ever lived.
So like I wrote in the beginning, none of this is new and most of these thoughts on happiness are clichèd too. But this is my truth. This is my happYness.