Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reflections on Happiness

What is happiness in life? A lot of us spend so much time trying to figure out what exactly will make us happy, if we are truly happy now, or what we need to get to be happier. Here's the problem with that: it makes happiness completely out of reach. I can guarantee that if I sit down and think about all that is going on in my life that I will find things to be sad about. If I dig deep enough I can find things that haunt me and can make my life miserable. I choose not to. It's not that I ignore things that need to be faced; these are things I have faced head on, reasoned through, and I now know are in my past.

I find happiness in a few ways. First, is to look towards the future. Setting goals, getting excited about upcoming events, and planning things I want to do are all things that make me happy. This give me something to look forward to so that if my present situation is crappy I know that it will get better. Second, I learn to appreciate the little moments in my life that occur on a daily basis. I find hobbies that I enjoy, spontaneous moments that break up the monotony of my life, and plan quality time that I can spend with people I love. I choose to be happy, to be grateful, to appreciate, to love, to thrive, to survive. I see no other choice in my life but to reach for happiness on a daily basis.

This doesn't mean that I'm not going to have bad days. I have bad days all the time because my body refuses to function normally and I am in constant pain and have to miss out on things that most people think are nothing. I have to feel isolated at school every day because no one has any idea of what I am going through and probably just assume that I am stuck up because they have no idea what is truly going on.

My life is not perfect, but it doesn't mean I can't be happy. And I know that it's something I'll never stop fighting for no matter what. I choose the future, not my past. And while I look towards the future, I enjoy the present as much as I can.

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
- Alexandre Dumas

If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.
- Edith Wharton

What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.
- Leo Buscaglia

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