Once upon a time, if you’d asked me what I’d wish for, I’d probably have said happiness or more specifically, “to be happy”.
Over the years though, I’ve come to understand that happiness is not a goal. Or not individually a realistic one at any rate. It’s a mood. An impermanent state.
I strongly suspect that the key to finding it is in someway linked to that understanding. And in taking time to find, understand, and stay true to our own self. In what we believe, what we do, what we love, and how we live.
I also think that happiness is not found in the things we think we should have, but experienced in finding the joy in what (and who) we choose to have around us. The things and people that make us smile, bring us comfort, and are there for us when other moods take their moment.
Whilst it intrinsically starts within, there is a grounding element of happiness that can be found in that which we surround ourselves.
One might be surprised that an old show such as One Tree Hill might have much wisdom to offer, but I’ve always remembered a conversation between Brooke & Julian on the whole “being happy thing” that pretty much says just this:
Julian: …I feel like people get lost when they think of happiness as a destination.
Brooke: Like, how do you mean?
Julian: We’re always thinking that someday we’ll be happy; we’ll get that car or that job or that person in our lives that’ll fix everything. But happiness is a mood, and it’s a condition, not a destination. It’s like being tired or hungry, it’s not permanent. It comes and goes, and that’s okay. And I feel like if people thought of it that way, they’d find happiness a lot more often.
Brooke: So you think it’s okay to be a little miserable every now and then? Even when you have great things in your life?
Julian: Is it okay to be a little hungry now and then?
Brooke: Happiness is a mood, not a destination. I like that.
These days, I don’t wish to be happy. Instead, I seek to relish the moments of happiness as and where I find them…an image captured, a fresh tattoo, hot chocolate on a chilly day, time outdoors. These are but a few of my moments.
How about you?