Can I be happy everyday?

So today is International Day of Happiness. What a wonderful idea to encourage positivity, but it makes me question: what is happiness?

Happiness must be more than smiling and laughing, as we all know those things can be put on for show. Happiness is usually described as a feeling – ‘I feel happy’ – and a state of being – ‘I’m happy’, yet it isn’t something that can always be summoned at will.

Happiness, to me, isn’t something I strive for everyday. I strive for contentment and peace. These may seem like similar concepts, but to me, happiness is not either. Happiness rises above contentment, and becomes an outward expression of inner joy. You may wonder why I don’t want to be joyful and happy all the time – after all, it would be a perfect world if we all were.

Whilst I love the idea, I feel it is important that we engage with sorrow, pain, loss, anger, worry, anxiety and a whole range of other emotions. Those are the emotions that remind me that I’m human, and I’m alive.

So as joyful and grateful as I am, that we have these international days to bring us into a world of love, friendship, celebration and ultimately happiness; I’d like to give a shout out to the other emotions, that are not welcomed and celebrated by society. I appreciate each of you, because you give me a reason to stop and reflect on my life, who I am, and who I want to become… I hope to feel content and peacefully able to engage with you all, and never forgetting to be grateful.

 

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