Are you happy? Sometimes? Most of the time? Despite frustration, arduous toil, stress, pain, suffering, depression? Or is it next to impossible to feel ‘happy’ when experiencing these? Do you associate happiness with feeling ‘good’, relaxing, enjoying, pleasuring? Is it just the brief relief from oppressions and assaults that makes you ‘feel good’? So you pursue activities that ‘lift your spirits’: Sightseeing, shopping, hobbies, projects. You enjoy eating a nice meal, watching T.V., attending a concert, sharing with friends. These can make life agreeable. But do they make you happy? Do you look forward to each day? Do you relish many moments with a smile. Does laughter come easily? Are you glad you are alive? Hope so!!

Life is like a riding a roller coaster. Not a day goes by that you don’t experience pain. You may be in a good mood one moment and then ba boom!! A rock falls on your toe; you ‘catch a cold’; an acquaintance maligns you. A never ending array of ‘nice’ and ‘not nice’ confronts you daily. But YOU are a CONSTANT. YOU ARE YOU NO MATTER WHAT. So it is imperative that you develop and maintain a positive attitude. One that accepts whatever ‘negative’ comes your way … remembering that “this too shall pass”.

So how do you sustain a ‘sunny’ outlook? What must you do to feel comfortable with yourself and your life each day? Being ‘fairly’ happy most of the time. Here are some suggestions:

Be THANKFUL that you have existence, that you are you, unique in the universe. Say “I am alive; I am me; thank you God.” Be always grateful for the miracle of you. Never take your ‘aliveness’ for granted.

ENJOY LIFE BY DOING WITH PURPOSE … ‘noble’ purpose that is. You are determined by what you think and do. You are relatively happy most of the time or sad depending on your motives and what you are pursuing. Sound reasonable? Think about it. Doing what you ‘should’ be doing is essential. You should feel good about yourself and improve your inner self a little each day.

RELISH EXPERIENCES. They are yours: All your sensory activities, impressions, the choices and responses you make. The ‘feast’ for your eyes and ears should astound you. Be in awe. Never tire of the variety. The wonders of the world are yours and they are limitless. Too many people go through life ignoring the fabulous workings of nature and ‘man’ all ‘round them. Grow in your appreciation … of the industrious ant, the engineering of a bridge, the cosmos. Love it all and you will be amazed at how the world becomes more and more a joy to be part of.

CULTIVATE YOUR ABILITIES … most especially your spiritual ones. Wonder always. Take in and react to beauty. Use your imagination often. Honestly and sincerely discern what is ‘best’ for you and for others. Then make commitments. Marvel at what you have accomplished. Accept your shortcomings. They become insignificant as you develop confidence in your loving … everything and everybody. Let peace and joy reign in your heart each day. You are striving as best you can.

HAVE FAITH. YOU WERE CREATED BY LOVE FOR LOVE. Never stop loving. For you are an integral part of a magnificent design. You are an entity sharing space with kindred souls on a journey … towards Pure Spirit residing in PEACE.

Consider: The happiest people in the world are those who

- Commit to understanding and caring for what is outside themselves.
- Accept life’s vicissitudes as challenges and opportunities to grow.
- Strive past inevitable ‘shortfalls’ with intrepid faith and hope in the triumph of LOVE.

Of course ultimate happiness is not possible in our physical state. We are in a process that ties us to so much discomfort. But we can still feel a steady sense of joy … increasing slowly as we love.

One last point: YOU decide how you handle your world. YOU decide what you deem important. You may experience pleasure and decide that you will pursue it vigorously. Many red flags will go up however. Hedonism, addictions, these can become obsessions that hinder more wholesome pursuits. You may lose friends, become dissipated and start down a ‘self-serving’ road deceiving yourself into thinking that this is happiness. Not!! You will find yourself unfulfilled, empty. For happiness depends on the ‘you inside’ having a growing, caring relationship with what is ‘outside’ you. Only loving pursuits can fill your heart and bring joy and happiness. It is that simple.




©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and definingyourworld.com. All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.