The meaning of happiness is defined differently for everyone, especially around the holidays. I love the lights, decorations, and the food. My kids like the presents. Others like being with family and still others are happy just to have an extra day off, and be home alone with peace and quiet. However you define happiness, I hope this season finds you enjoying your kind of happiness.
I recent read an article about happiness, and have some new thoughts. Family Circle had an article about “What I learned about Happiness on the internet”, and it made me think. It talked about two kinds of happiness, synthetic and natural, and reported that the brain can’t tell the difference. I can understand that. There are often times, when I know that I’m happy, and there are other times I am able to create a happiness, by doing things I enjoy if I am down or struggling. I know that sometimes, you have to work at being happy, just like we work on everything else. Working at your job, your marriage, or at being a good parent, is often a lifelong task and can be very rewarding. Even working on just being a good person is important, so working at staying happy is just as important.
Working at being happy these days is harder than ever. The news is so negative, and even during this time of year, it’s hard to find happy stories on television, unless you are watching the Hallmark Channel and there is even stress there before the happily ever after. The article also quoted Lisa Nichols (coauthor of Abundance Now), saying “Happiness isn’t something you arrive at. It’s a destination that you stay at.” I don’t believe that you can stay happy, but I do believe that you can arrive there often if you choose. Every day can’t be great. There are always ups and down as a part of life. The nation has had many events to mourn this year, but with resilience and hope, we continue to recover and move forward, but each day can be viewed as good, with a focus on the positive. I think about recent struggles and days that were harder due to news or events, but I was always able to end the day with my family, and kiss my kids goodnight (which I do daily, every at 14 and 12). At the end of the day, if we are safe at home, it’s a good day.
Nothing is every certain in these times, but the ability to be happy and positive is there in all of us. Things are changing in our culture and in our beliefs, and so they should. Finding meaning in the events of the day, and being able to end the day happy, is a struggle at times but it can be done. You may redefine happiness many times, as your life cycle continues, but don’t stop thinking about it.
I hope your definition of happiness is strong today, and for the season. And as it changes, hold on to the knowledge that no matter what others think, staying happy is possible. Redefine it, research it, read about it, but don’t give up. It’s part of being happy for life.