What is happiness?

peanuts_happiness-2-300x264My therapist asked me the other day when the last time was that I remembered being happy.  This was hard to answer.  Not because I have not been happy for a long time and couldn’t remember but because this idea of being happy seemed complex to me at that moment.  I had just gotten through telling her that I am the happiest now that I have ever been in my life.  But what does that mean exactly?

Certainly I have had occasions up until now to be truly happy whether for just a moment or for a year.  I was happy when I was in college but I also went through a serious depression during this time period.  Yet, I remember being happy as a whole.  I’ve been happy with new girlfriends.  And then I wasn’t anymore.  I was happy the day I got every new vehicle I have bought.  But was I truly “happy”?  When asked by my therapist, I couldn’t point to a particular time when I was truly happy.  Yet, I feel myself creeping increasingly towards something I define as happiness.

What I meant when I said that I am the happiest I’ve ever been, I think, is content and at peace.  Hopeful.  I am finally starting to feel at peace with who I am and actively working towards aligning what I see on the inside with what I see on the outside.  The hormones coursing through my veins are not fighting against my nature anymore but are helping me to align with my true nature.  I am no longer at war with myself.

I realized that I have been fighting a war my whole life.  A war between who I really am and what everyone outside of me expects me to be.  This has created a constant feeling of conflict inside me.  My mother used to ask me frequently if I was happy.  Perhaps she suspected that I was not.  I always said that I was but she never believed me.   My mother and my partner both have told me that they don’t think anything will ever make me happy.

I think mom and Candice are both wrong about happiness. First of all, happiness is fleeting, changeable and subject to all kinds of outside influences. What I’m talking about is internal happiness; true happiness with myself.   I haven’t known that kind of happiness until recently. Slowly, as I get closer and closer to aligning my inner and outer worlds and start to feel more whole I am getting closer to this internal happiness and contentment. And I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, not because of the house I live in or the car I drive or how much money is in my checkbook, but because I finally like who I am becoming and feel hopeful about who I am evolving into.

Will I have bad days ahead?  Of course!  But when you have a solid foundation of inner peace they are easier to deal with.  That is what I am hoping for anyway.  And the good days…I’m hoping that they are even sweeter than I can imagine.

 

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10 thoughts on “What is happiness?

  1. My mom always asked me the same question. I think you’re right about happiness changing and fleeting. I’m glad you’re feeling more aligned with yourself right now.

    When I think of being happy, I think about times when everything felt “right” and I believed everything was going to be ok and I felt loved and safe. The most prominent in my mind were the times when I was 5 or 6 years old and my mom would let me sit in her lap while she painted her nails. If I was calm and still enough, she would paint mine with just a clear base coat. My dad didn’t like it. For me, I felt like I was finally bonding with my mom. I felt like I was finally being let in the “club.” Those were good times.

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    • Yes, “feeling right” is what I’m really talking about. Having the “right” hormone in my body is starting to make me feel “right” inside which I haven’t felt before. And those moments when we were allowed to steal a taste of our true gender are sweet memories. I’m glad that your mom gave you that gift.

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  2. What makes Charlie Brown happy is different than what makes Lucy happy. And not just gender wise. Inner peace and contentment are elusive, but for all of us hopefully attainable.

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  3. I agree with your thoughts on happiness. What it means for one person to be happy at any point in their life is never stagnant. As we change as human beings what we want and need changes, too. I’m glad you feel more at peace with yourself. That’s an important part of being happy.

    Also. I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. For more details, check out: http://vizibilit.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/liebster-award/

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    • Thank you for the nomination for the Liebster award! I feel very honored. And thanks for your comment. My idea of happiness has certainly changed over the course of my life.

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  4. Happiness is the assurance that things could change on a dime,
    and you would still be all right.

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    • That’s an interesting perspective on happiness and certainly part of how I’m feeling too. I think we all need to feel that way to feel secure to take risks. Otherwise the cost of failure is just too much for us to handle.

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