February 5, 2010

A Happiness Is Relative To What?

Real life women share their own experiences and thoughts about A Woman's Happiness Is Relative To What?

Sometimes it only takes a minute to create happiness. One thing that I've found that makes me happy is to make my bed on a daily basis. I've resisted this for years and just recently embarked on a major decluttering of the home I've lived in for 25 years. Although that did make me happy, it is the one minute it takes to make my bed that I see throughout the day that reminds me that I'm worth the effort.
My happiness thought of the week? A major happiness blocker is expectations, especially when manifested as entitlement. Especially a sense of entitlement that leaves you feeling wronged by the universe not giving you something. So I'm trying to become more aware of those these days. Awareness is the cornerstone. Have you tried a full on meditation retreat yet? There is no such thing as "being" happy. Save for brief, transitory reactions to events in our lives that give us pleasure. Except, perhaps, for retarded people.
For me happiness is a practice. Not of something I feel but of who I am. It's got nothing to do with being upset, angry, or having things going my way. As long as I hold on to the knowing that my life is perfect just the way it is, with its ups and its downs, I remain happy. Steadfastly happy even in deep sorrow.
It has been my experience that happiness , like so many other things in life, is a choice. We choose to be happy, just as we choose to love. These things are not emotional feelings. They are perspectives and actions. They are independent of circumstances, social status, monetary situations, geographic location etc. It cannot be found in a person, fame, a job, a hobby, a bottle, or a billfold. If you chase it, it will always be just out of reach. Happiness is found between our ears. It is a state of mind; an attitude. It is a way of seeing the world around us. It's the way we choose to see and interact with the world around. It is a choice. But, hey, that may just be me; what do I know.
So many of the happy people I know -- especially those who have faced big happiness challenges -- say exactly the same thing: happiness is a choice.
I think the problem is that for many people, it's hard to understand how to"choose happiness" in everyday life. Even if they want to, it's hard tofigure out how to put that into action. I know it's hard for me. I have trouble with aims that are abstract, like "be more optimistic," "find more joy," "enjoy the present," and "choose happiness." That's why I focus on smaller, very concrete, actions. They lead me to the same result, but easier for me to take steps.
My happiness project began three months ago. After years of battling to save my daughter from spending half of her time with a molesting father, I was broken inside. So unhappy, my teeth were ground down to broken. So broke I was nearly bankrupt. And one day, tearfully, I told myself, "I'm going to be happy anyway." I did not know how. It did not mean I was going to quit trying to save my daughter. But it did mean that I was committed to happiness. You see, it's hard to believe you deserve any happiness if something terrible is happening to one of your children.
Well, I can't say the experiment is over. But my mantra is the same. "I'm going to be happy anyway." And sometimes, more often than if I hadn't, it is working. I hope that the little bit of extra light in me will light the way for my children, and that it can continue to grow. So that they can heal and be happy, too.

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