We all want happiness in life. Who doesn’t? However, happiness hasn’t been something so easily obtained by many. Those we perceive to have everything they could want in life are not happy, yet those we perceive have nothing in this world, are sometimes seen to be the happiest.
So, what exactly is happiness and how can one obtain it?
Happiness is the feeling you have when things give you pleasure and can be quite a lively feeling; contentment is a quieter feeling that you get when you have learned to find pleasure in things. — Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries
Basically, despite your situation or circumstances, you can be happy — as long as you feel contented with what you have and what you have gives you pleasure.
That being said, it really boils down to you.
No one else can make you happy.
They may be able to play a part.
Your partner, your family, your friends, they will all be reasons for you to be happy — or not. But essentially, you’re the only person who can decide if you want to be happy or not.
The first thing you can do to obtain happiness is to decide you really want to be happy. I know it sounds stupid. Who doesn’t want to be happy? Everyone wants to be happy. But the problem is, not everyone can be happy.
That’s why you have people with depression, people who are constantly anxious, people who commit suicide because they just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I bet, more than anything, these people desperately want to be happy.
Being happy in a way is both easy and hard.
You have people who are effortlessly happy. They have no trouble at all. Then you have those who are constantly unhappy, despite having what society would call ‘everything’ in the world. They have more money than they could ever spend, they have multiple roofs that they would need and food that you can only imagine eating.
Yet, they’re empty on the inside.
I was lost at one point in my life. I was only 19 and felt like I had outlived my life. Although I never reached the point of actually doing any self-harm to myself, I did think about it a couple of times.
It was a dark place and I hated it.
Despite having family and friends around me, I felt lost, empty and alone.
But I knew ending my life wouldn’t change anything. Yes, I’d probably not feel that way anymore because I’d be dead but the impact that I would leave behind on those who love me, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that.
So I did the only thing I could do at that time. I looked for myself.
And I found myself.
Over the years, we change. As we grow up, it’s not just our physicalities that change. We don’t just grow taller or wider, we change on the inside as well. We learn new emotions, our characteristics change. What used to make us happy may not invoke the same kind of emotions anymore.
I needed to look at why I was in such a dark place and what could take me out of it.
It was tiring, it was hard, at times I wanted to give up, but I persevered and I got out of it.
I’m not saying I’m extremely happy now, although I am so much happier now than I was back then. I know I can be happier and I’m working towards it. The thing is, I know what I want and what makes me happy. The hard part is trying to make sure all that makes me happy is a constant in my life.
Soul searching helped me to realize all of that.
Accepting yourself as it is
This is hard to do, especially if you’re in a situation where you really don’t like the person that you are now. You don’t like how you look, you don’t like how you behave and you don’t like where you are at the moment in life.
The thing is, that feeling can be added on by others.
People telling you that you look terrible, or how bad your behaviour is or that you’re stuck in a really bad place right now.
And you believe all of that.
Truth is, where you are at this exact moment, is where you’re supposed to be because of the decisions that you made previously.
It’s that simple.
I’m in debt, I can’t run away from that fact. I hate it but I put myself in this mess. I spent money that I didn’t have, just to buy things that I didn’t really need and now I’m in deep shit. I can’t blame anyone but myself, no matter how much I would like to.
Where I am right now is the direct consequences of my actions.
I’m changing that now, only after I accepted the fact that I can’t change my past and I can’t change my present. The only thing I can do is make sure my present actions give me a better future.
I accept myself for who I am now, where I am now and how I am now.
And honestly, it has made me happier because I know I have full power to change my circumstances and I will give it my all to do so.
Once you accept yourself for who you are, where you are and how you are right now, right this very moment, you can then focus on who, where and how you want to be.
Again, your current situation, if it’s not pleasing to you, is also not your permanent and final situation.
You HAVE the power to change it.
I know it’s not as easy as it sounds but only you can decide if you want to be happy and only you can give that approval to yourself.
No one else.
You can have others help you to feel happiness but at the end of the day, it really boils down to you.
So, choose happiness.
Choose to be happy.
However, and whatever that may mean to you.