Monday, September 9, 2013

H is for Happiness

What constitutes happiness? For most people, that includes success of some kind, feeling loved and needed by coworkers, family and friends, and feeling like you're on the right track. But what if the world was about to burn, what if darkness was all that you could see in front of you, and you left all you have ever known for the uncertainty of hope? That is when you must ask yourself "Could I be happy if everything I loved and cherished was taken from me in an instant?"

The answer can be yes, but how is it done? I'm reminded of Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when he says, explaining how the Mirror or Erised works, "The happiest man in the world would see only himself." Could that be said of us, or our we inhibited by fears, unanswered questions and those things we wish we had done or said, but lacked the courage?

If those questions do concern us, the time is now to begin to change that. Take your life into your own hands, and lift up other hands that need help in the meantime. That is true happiness--being able and willing  to love more, give more and hope more than might seem humanly possible or prudent. Life is worth living, and we are the ones who can make it so.

If you are single and longing to be married, never give up on the hope that there is someone, somewhere who does love you, and when you meet, the stars will burn the brighter. But also, do not lose yourself so much in dreams that you forget to live in the meantime: travel, sing, dance, laugh, make a new friend, check off your bucket those things that when you are old and grey you can say, "I lived, and loved, with no regrets."

If you are a working parent with children and you find yourself at wit's end, take a nap when the kids are napping, take a long, luxurious bath, read a chapter in a good book, write...take some time for yourself when even just a few minutes are available.

If you feel inadequate to the task, no matter what that task may be, have faith in yourself. That faith may be enough for you to do what may seem impossible, and when you fail, getting up again is where you have achieved true strength. The joy of achievement is stronger and sweeter in times of struggle than when things are easy and without work.

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