No matter what anyone else may tell you, happiness just may be the most important thing in the world. It is the root of everything good and the ward from everything evil. I may just scratch the surface today, and I may be underqualified. But when something is on my heart, it aches until I share it.
Happiness Begets Happiness
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when contemplating your own happiness is that a happy person has never belittled someone, killed someone, or developed a toxic addiction. Unhappiness is at the core of every war in history. A wise man once described good as “that which creates happiness,” and evil as, “that which creates unhappiness,” or in many cases…destroys it. People say that focusing on your own happiness is selfish, but frankly, happiness is contagious. You cannot be unhappy and still be yourself. If you can’t be yourself, then you are unable to enact the change you were meant to create in the world.
Happiness is natural. We are not created to feel self-doubt or be overcome by negative thoughts. It’s true that it is human instincts to be aware of dangers and have an empathetic heart, but that’s where the negativity should end. Psychologists state that our natural state of mind is peace. The “anxiousness” is due to a survival instinct. As a child, we live in an effortless land of glee…unless we need something, or have been taught to crave something (such as being held). But the truth is, even as a child, it takes so much more effort to cry than it does to be content. But when one is afraid, it’s hard to reach that point of peace.
That’s exactly what unhappiness is…fear. Fear of the unknown, of being alone, of not being good enough. Everyone’s unhappiness was bred by a fear.
Imagine being a child and being so curious about fire. One day, your curiosity gets the best of you and without hesitation, you reach out and touch the flame. Of course, you are burned. From that day on, you feel nervous around fire as you’re sure it will attack you. You don’t realize that the fire won’t jump out at you. It’s up to you whether you’re burned again or not. But instead of being careful around the fire that can bring such peace, you refuse to ever go near it again. You even often wake up in the night, overcome with fear over the dream you were having about it.
As adults, this fear seems so silly. The child was burned once, years ago, and yet they still carry that with them. They let it take control of their lives, they live in fear, and they won’t even let anyone else enjoy the warmth the fire can bring. Seems illogical, right? They want everyone to remain safe, they tell themselves, but they are really just jealous that everyone else is so happy and comfortable dancing around the fire, embracing the warmth and tasty food it was created to give us.
The Only Way
Anything that does not facilitate happiness, is not beneficial. It’s a fairly simple concept. Like I previously stated, if you are happy, you will beget happiness. Whether you like it or not, your essence will bleed onto those around you. You may feel unreadable, but as the days go by, you’ll affect the people you come in contact with. It sounds silly, but it’s like passing gas and expecting no one to smell it because they didn’t see it (cue middle school laughter!) They may not know it was you that disrupted their peace, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was disrupted.
You may say that we need sorrow to grow as human beings, but even the Christian Bible will tell you that we should delight ourselves in the sorrow we go through. Simply put: don’t worry, be happy. We can go through hardships, and we can feel sorrowful during them, but this shouldn’t take away our happiness…or leave us void of love.
Louder Than Words
Another bit you’ll find in the Bible is in 1 John 3:18. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” Now, your faith is irrelevant here as even non-Christians can agree with me. We can say we love someone all day long, but they will never know it until we show them. On the same note, anything done through love cannot be bad. Love covers a multitude of sins, after all. Since goodness is only reached through happiness, you can say that love and happiness are sisters. Make them family.
Fight the Battle
Now, you may think, “I can’t just magically be happy.” It’s true, you can’t completely let go of the past and everything you may be currently going through. But you can start practicing today. This isn’t exactly a “fake it till you make it” sort of thing, but in a way it also is. There are two polar opposites to keep in mind as you do this.
One: Whenever you find something that really bothers you, face it. Let those you trust in on how you feel and what you think. Talk about it openly, logically, and honestly with those that love you. And trust them in return. Own up to it and ask yourself, “is this something I can fix right now or is it out of my hands?” It’s important that you know yourself as well as you can. You need to know the cause of all of your thoughts and feelings. Look past the negativity and find the truth. Don’t allow it to be a pity party and don’t allow yourself to be overcome by guilt. Get to the truth first. You know how the saying goes: the truth will set you free.
Two: Hit it out of the ballpark. I won’t say to dismiss the sorrow that tries to overtake you. I mentioned dealing with it in “One”. But what you can do is look the other way at the moment. After you have dealt with it, from then on, you need to keep looking the other way, or rather, above it. If it starts to show its head, try looking for the positive in the situation. When you see a field of glistening snow, do you look at the one, tiny patch of dirt or do you see the beautiful gift from God that you are allowed to witness? Eventually, if you keep forcing yourself to embrace the beauty, it will become all you see. The snow will continue to fall, covering the dark patch. What you didn’t realize was that the dark patch was you, standing, refusing to move from the spot you chose to dwell. As soon as you decided to step aside, the snow was free to do its job, and you were free to explore your own happiness.
In the end, you’ll see that the true path to happiness starts with accepting yourself for who you really are. Think about it…are you really glad to be you? Or are you forever longing for the life of another?