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Is Happiness What You Think It Is?

Lately I’ve been running into the elusive concept of “happiness.” Besides media, friends, and family refering to the idea, I would love to help my kids get closer to such a thing in their own lifetime. But when confronted with choices about how to find happiness, people sometimes make decisions that confuse me.

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Ok, so happiness isn’t the same to everyone. Got that. And I’m sure there isn’t a magic recipe. But how do people define a “happy marriage,” or what does “I’ve found happiness” mean? I consider myself in a “happy marriage,” but it is a lot of work, and it doesn’t mean I wake up singing and whistling everyday. I worry about people who are looking for happiness, and I have to think that the disappointment people have, might be because they are looking for something that doesn’t really exist. I want to raise children who are happy, but I feel silly even saying such a thing. They would be better off if I focused on things like hope and faith and kindness and compassion.

If you feel like commenting, share your thoughts on the topic. I’m interested in an off-the-cuff response, something short and sweet and from your gut. If someone is looking for “happiness,” what is it they want?

6 Responses

  1. lesliiw says:

    I’m not sure there is a thing as all the time happiness either. Life takes work, marriage takes work, kids certainly take work. I believe that most people are simply looking for contentment. I would also consider my marriage a happy one but we are not happy all the time. We argue, as you well know. However, even with the arguing and all of the hard work, we are content with what we have in our lives, and I believe that our Faith just might have something to do with that. If I can teach my kids that through Faith they can find just about everything they need, then I will be happy.

  2. Aunt Mary says:

    I concur with all of your thoughts . . . but I do believe that Happiness should not be sought out . . . but definitely can be had in the present by living in the moment that you are in; praising God for life’s blessings every day; and remaining acutely focused on today . . . rather than tomorrow. And if you are in an unhappy moment, then do something, anything, that will make you happy right then and there.

  3. Tracy says:

    I think it’s when you stop worrying about your happiness and stop searching for happiness that you’ve actually found it. It’s when you stop and think about what a great life you do have, even in the midst of crappy times.
    I just spent 5 minutes dancing with my boys to Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.” And that was happiness.

  4. angiejean says:

    These responses bring me happiness. Love it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Happiness is quite possibly the most relative of all concepts. You can find happiness or discontent in any situation, depending on perspective. What may make those seeking happiness less happy than those that do not is possibly the difference in expectations. Something especially detrimental to happiness is comparing. One’s imagination will always fully surpass the splendor of any real life situation. Therefore, when somebody is stuck dreaming and not living, they inevitably take away from their own capacity for happiness.

  6. lisa says:

    I think happiness follows finding joy. If all you are looking for is happiness, you will be disappointed and probably discouraged more often than not. Happiness is a fleeting emotion where joy is deep and more stable. And I agree with happiness being relative. I’m happy cooking for my husband because the joy it brings him gives me joy. Some days when I can’t find my happy, I try to give someone else joy then my day is better by extension.

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