Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happiness Can Be Really Can

I think a lot about happiness lately. What is happiness? Why we feel happy or unhappy? I have always believed that to be happy is in each person's control. No matter what your circumstances or hardships. You have the choice and the power to be happy, or not. I am not happy all of the time, but I am happy most of the time, and I can pull myself out of those moments of unhappiness. I've done it all my life to varying degrees of speed. I know that I have been a pretty fortunate person, which can make it easier to be happy. I have had a lot of opportunities, a lot of love, a lot of good people in my life. But I've also had my good share of shitty times, bad things, and bad people in my life. Haven't we all had that lovely mix? The difference comes in with what we choose to do with this good and bad and how we choose to deal with the bad.

Reaching this age and having many friends and acquaintances from all walks of life and all over the world I contemplate these people I know and their different situations and their attitudes toward life and the world in which they live.  As I get older, more and more I find myself seeking out those people who are happy and content and have a positive view on the world. Those are the people with whom I want to spend my time and give my energy. One of the things I love most about my husband is that he is probably the most positive person I know - so happy and so nice. I think I've been a pretty decent person in my life for the most part, but he puts me to shame. Being around his goodness, his positive energy and happy state has a positive effect on me and helps me keep moving on that path. He is a constant reminder for me if and when I slip with my feelings of happiness and contentment and positive nature.

I find it equally more and more challenging to spend time with and energy on those who are unhappy and negative, and remain unhappy and who won't really try to be happy. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to help someone be happy if they aren't willing to go there. I have learned that you can't force happiness on others. They have to want it and to find it for themselves. We can assist people, but only when they are open to assistance. It is painful to watch someone stay in this state and not be able to help them. Happiness can take different forms and so many different things can bring happiness, contentment, positive feelings - love, family, friends, career, hobbies, nature, pets, helping others, exercise, etc. So, why can't some people find solace in any of these things? I find it so difficult to understand. One thing I want to work on is to look more deeply into how to better assist people in my life who can't find happiness. Anyone have any tips on that?

I have a book sitting by my bed in the "to read" pile called Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. Have you heard of it or read it? Being in this mode of thinking lately, I want to read it soon. Maybe it will shed some new light for me on this contemplation of happiness.

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