In this week’s spotlight we turn our attention to happiness. What is happiness? What makes you happy? Is happiness something we can hold on to—maintain throughout our lives; or does it come and go like shadows in the dawn? Do we have to know unhappiness in order to recognize happiness? Or is happiness just the absence of unhappy situations or circumstances?
Webster is not much help when it comes to defining happiness. Webster simply puts it this way, “Happiness: the state of being happy.” Perhaps one of the best definitions of happiness is set out by vocabulary.com this way, “Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. It’s the opposite of sadness. Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness.”
That said, I am not necessarily happy just because I’m not sad. I can feel safe and not feel happy. Many people go about their lives perfectly healthy and still are not happy and the same can be said for those who know success, fame, and fortune. We have all heard the stories of those, particularly in the entertainment world because their stories are headlines, who take their own lives, often indirectly through drug and alcohol abuse, because despite their success they are unhappy.
So, we’re left with a definition that remains lacking. Is there something then that gives rise to happiness whether we’re rich or poor, healthy or unwell, safe or in danger, and so forth? I think the fact is, there is.
What might that be? It is a sense of satisfied purpose. It is the knowing that we are fulfilling a destiny uniquely ours, and that destiny is always about love. Love for our fellow human beings, appreciation for all life, and love for the creative force behind our being. Indeed, I believe that happiness is best found and most often held when we are in service to love. When we go to the aid of a fellow human being, we feel a rush of being that says our life makes a difference. This rush can follow us and often tingle our physical being, for it vibrates our being with a recognition that this is what life is about.
When we are in service to that which I have defined as love, we are fulfilling our purpose and somehow we inherently acknowledge this for it simply feels good all over. Holding that feeling in the ever-present now insures the longevity of happiness, for happiness can be had by simply placing yourself in service to the needs of those who hurt. This can be difficult for a variety of reasons, but it is nevertheless the most rewarding and permanent of that special state of mind we call happiness.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
Thanks for the read,