Today's blog post is by my fellow blogger, The MeSSenger.
We were having a discussion, as we always do, a few days ago about different topics. The next day, I received an email from him with this article he had written. He simply wanted to share his thoughts with me on various topics we had discussed, and I want to share them with you.
Here is what he had to say...
What is happiness?
Many people associate happiness with a smile. A smile is birthed when facial expression is characterized by an upward curving of the corners of the mouth and indicating pleasure, amusement, or derision. However, this scintillating facial expression, pleasure and/or amusement do not always convey happiness; it could very well represent the complete opposite, depending on the situation. So then, if a smile doesn’t indicate happiness, what does? Some may argue my logic and that is perfectly find as we are all entitled to our beliefs, but for me, happiness is something that cannot be seen rather experienced, hence the saying “never judge a book by its cover”. Often times, we are guilty of assuming what is true opposed to researching or investigating to discover the facts, or what is factual; this is why so many of us are confused. Over the years we have learned to accept, very easily, the unknown!
The profoundly tender, passionate, and warm feeling of affection toward another person; or the common word “Love” is another thing that determines happiness for a lot of people. Although I believe that the association has a strong influence, I find it a bit vague to define happiness with love. My reason for saying this is simple. Ever witnessed or experienced being loved by multiple people, and still have the feeling of unhappiness? Many celebrities have spoken, and speak about this, often. I have heard one of them say and I quote, “It’s great to have the love of my loyal fans who look up to me as their role model, but sometimes I feel like I’m going to fail them because I am not happy; and I haven’t been for a while now”. Although the emotion love has proven to influence some great attributes in people, in my opinion, it should never be a definitive reason as to why a person is or should/shouldn’t be happy.
Do you know a person, be it a friend or family member, who just can’t cope with being alone? They feel as though they always have to be in commitment with another person in order to feel appreciated, and have happiness. I know a lot of people who depict being single as being cursed; they allow their relationship status to overcome them, leaving them with a feeling of hopelessness. I find it a bit disheartening for an individual to place the extent of their value into another persons’ hand. Oddly enough, people do it all the time, and have been doing it for centuries. I sincerely believe that we all should be co-dependent on one another; meaning, we all should help each other. However, I believe not feeling happy as an individual, existing alone, makes it difficult to be happy in a partnership existing with another person.
All of us have heard it mentioned at some point that money doesn’t buy happiness and that may very well be the case, but if given an opportunity, many of us would at least try! Financial security has been a proven factor to relieve stress. The comfort of being able to pay your bills alone is self-rewarding. Money stimulates that feeling of accomplishment, but does it define happiness? We can go on an endless debate about this and never reach a verdict. Why? Because for those people who have been in poverty for years, money can very well feel like their saving grace, but to those who aren’t strangers to wealth, money doesn’t move them. Ultimately, I believe that it is our opinion that money has some sort of healing power to transform our emotions, but the truth remains “money is just money”. It has no ulterior motive because it isn’t a living thing! What we choose to do with money is a whole new topic of discussion for another day!
As we can see, happiness is not determined by a particular thing. It is influenced by many factors both positive and negative, even spiritual encounters in some instances. Whether happiness comes from another person, an emotion, a connection, and/or position of status and power, there is one important thing that determines its’ existence and that element is “you”. Ultimately, without you making a conscious decision to be happy, happiness will never exist in your life. Another person can’t be happy for you, nor can they bring happiness to you. They can influence the feeling, but you have to choose to feel it for yourself. Having money, power, and fame does not automatically put you in a state of happiness. Again, happiness is a choice! So then, if happiness is a choice, how do we choose to be happy? It is simple, we try it the other way first! Instead of being happy for a day, try being angry throughout your day and then analyze things to see which way is better. I can’t speak for anyone else but, when I’m angry I tend to be moody, I suffer socially because no one wants to be around me, and physically my blood pressure usually goes up. I get anxious, my appearance becomes intimidating, and my spirit comes across as ungodly. In addition, I’m usually sweaty with a feeling of exhaustion because of the amount of energy my body uses to stress and be angry. Overall, I do not feel very well.
On the other end, when I make the choice to be happy, I feel my best and I look my best. People around me tend to be happier as well. I’m a much easier person to deal with because of my demeanor and my spirit. Happiness makes me feel free. It inspires me and gives me vision to see that situations for me could be worse. Happiness humbles me and makes me appreciate myself more. When I’m truly happy, I do not need validation from anyone or thing. I can exist in the world and not be of the world. I do not need a partner to determine my happiness. I don’t need love or acceptance from another person. I don’t have to be the most powerful or the most influential, nor do I feel the need to have more money than the next man or woman. When I’m truly happy, I don’t have to smile to show others my spirit. I simply wake up, appreciate who God created me to be while treating others respectably, and I go about me day feeling like I am on top of the world! Why? Because I found within me that place that only I know how to discover; it’s the place that I call “happiness”! And this joy that I have finally found, the world didn’t give it to me nor can the world take it away.
I agree that in order to have happiness in life, we first have to be happy with ourselves. Sure people, places, and things can evoke the emotion, but it's only temporary when we allow those same people, places, and things, to define us. We become sad being alone. Why? Because we don’t know who we are!
I challenge each of you, if you don't already do this, to take some time out of your day to make time for yourself. Get to know who you are so that you will be able to let others know, so you will be able to love yourself better, so that you are not placed inside of their little box. It's okay to spend time with yourself. Who wants to spend time with you if you don't like spending time with yourself? No one!
Take a good, long, hard look in the mirror, and examine your image. Figure out the features you love on your face, on your body. What are your best assets? Not only does doing this help us to feel better about ourselves, it helps boost our confidence and self-esteem. When you know you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good people notice. You become a better YOU! You define your happiness!
A special thanks to The MeSSenger for being our guest today, and sharing his insight with us. We hope he will join us again. In the meantime, checkout his blog: www.soulbrother-whenlifespeaks.blogspot.com for more of his work.
Until next time, be inspired, be encouraged, & be you!