Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Happiness is...

More and more I am becoming convinced that life is not supposed to be easy, and that sometimes you have to be able to take your happiness wherever you can find it. Actually, I think I have heard or read this before (probably both) but, I suppose, it's meaning is finally oozing into my consciousness.

A happy disposition often makes for the spreading of general feelings of wellbeing, much like a contagious virus. And I think that the opposite is also true. How often have you found yourself arguing with everyone only to realise later you were the antagonist. Then, of course, there are the times that you smile at a stranger for no reason and they grin madly back at you (it's impossible not to).

I don't even think it really matters how such a state comes into existence or how long it should last, only that it was. Many a happy memory is replayed in my mind and often I find this sustains me. Also, many a fantasy of happier times has in the past sustained and motivated me to make good decisions, or rather decisions that would make for me new and cherished happy memories for the future sustaining of my soul.

I wonder at this point what causes those moments to fulfil us in such a way. And there doesn't seem to be any fantastic consistency that makes happiness happen in the same way you can a chocolate cake. Eggs, butter, sugar, chocolate, milk plus flour does not always equal happiness, but it will always make a chocolate cake (and indeed for some this is happiness, include me in that one, so long as it has icing).

Sometimes we crave complicated unachievable ends toward the pursuit of the golden life full of happy moments, investing hours of energy, tears and sleepless nights, and yet, some of my most happy memories have come about by complete accident. I'm not talking about moments that seem magical wherein you sigh and wistfully wish it could go on forever. I'm talking about moments of pure joy. Although, is there any real difference? Do these moments blur under the one label of 'happy'?

Does experiencing something worthwhile, whether this stimulates a feeling of happiness or sadness, lessened if it does not bring pure joy? And is happiness generally a feeling of satisfaction and contentment or is it joy and laughter? Is consistent laughing resultant in happiness?

So many questions.

I have been attending mindfulness therapy on and off over the past year to resolve some issues that overwhelmed me and for which I am in need of ongoing assistance. The biggest thing that has spoken to me from this study of mindfulness is acceptance. That whatever we feel, whether it is happy, sad, anger, jealousy, contentment, joy, is what it is, not to be diminished or dispensed of, but accepted because it is.

Oddly, I have found joy in this fact alone and I have noticed a considerable abatement of the anxiety I have recently experienced. There is joy and happiness and contentment because I am.


  1. mindfulness: definately with you on that one mary! there's a book called the happniness trap that talks about this, it's pretty popular at the moment. you should check it out! i found it useful.

    am enjoying your blog!


  2. Thanks Josh I'll definitely check it out!!! :)
    I love the philosophy of mindfulness, the whole thing really rings true for me and I find it easy to relate. I'm getting that book!
    Glad you're enjoying it! :)

  3. Mary - I love the way you write and think. Mindfullness is fantastic - I have likewise found it very useful.
    Josh - I will be looking up that book at the library

    love big liz

  4. Thanks Big Liz! It is very useful... :) xx