It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Happiness is...

Are you happy? Really deep, down happy? What is happiness?  Have you ever asked those questions? 

I hadn't until I recently read a selection from Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.  She suggests that happiness is a living emotion and a state of mind.  I sat for a while thinking about happiness, asking myself if I'm really happy deep down inside.  I tried to define happiness without a dictionary.  Is it peace, joy, serenity, a calmness of the soul, contentment?  What is it?

My next thought was to try to list some things that make me genuinely happy. Truthfully, the page was blank for a while.  There are many things I enjoy, like writing, walking with a dog, eating a good meal with friends or family.  There are many things that give me a burst of joy, like finding one of those dear little WPA markers. Those are outer things that are a part of my life, but I was looking for things that truly bring me a satisfied happiness - there is a difference.  Finally, things began to come to me.  Here's what I have so far:
  • Rain.  It is such a precious commodity, but even with the over abundance we've had this year I still find watching rain fall to the earth giving me such a deep feeling of contentment beyond just a surface joy.  Rain, watering the earth and giving life to plants and animals.
  • Sunflowers.  I realized this one morning while driving to work and saw clumps along the road.  They are not my favorite flower, but as I watched clump after clump go by I felt that compelling happiness.  Maybe that's why a sun flower has been my favicon all these years.
  • On my recent to Comfort I choose to take a winding two-lane road I had never travelled before. There were very few vehicles on the road with me, so I was alone with the countryside. Looking across the rolling Hill Country and crossing the flowing creeks gave me a feeling of deep contentment.  Same thing happened driving home from Blanco when I went to the Lavender Festival a few Saturdays ago.  I felt a true peace within my inner self, knowing I was in the right place at the right time.  I know that was happiness.
I'm sure my list will continue to grow as I look for things that truly make me happy.  Sarah Ban Breathnach summed it up well with her statement,

"genuine happiness can only be realized once we commit to making it a personal priority in our lives"

1 comment:

  1. I do believe we choose to be happy while standing in our circumstances. That is not to say there are not things that are troubling--as they should be--but that somehow, because of that, in spite of that, we still choose happiness.