I hadn’t heard this quote by William Arthur Ward until I was reading The Simply Luxurious Life last week, and it stopped me in my tracks. Throughout time mankind has written billions of words about finding happiness, but Ward’s five concise words convey a simply elegant guide to this often elusive place. Sometimes all is takes is a different utterance to wake us up to what we have known all along.
I constantly need reminding that the power to find my happiness is inside myself. We can’t rely on other people or things to make us happy. That’s the fastest way to leading a disgruntled life.
I have been blessed with a posse full of examples. A couple in particular are now not only surviving but thriving after their happily-ever-afters didn’t pan out as expected. Yes, they suffered, but like the strong Southern belles of their heritage, they decided to take their happiness into their own hands. Now they wake up each day literally counting their blessings.
For them, it was a matter of choosing their perspective. They had to be happy with themselves and not care about what others thought of them. That’s a tall order and can take a lot of digging (sometimes even with a therapist), but the result is authentic happiness.
It’s easy to write about happiness on a sunny early March day when there is just the touch of Spring in the air. When the inevitable showers arrive, perhaps even with snowflakes in the midst, I’ve got to dig dip into myself to find my own happiness. No doubt it will look different from yours.
Journaling can be a great tool for discovering your own happiness. Set aside 20 minutes of quiet time to sit down and let your subconscious flow through your pen. Anything that pops into your head is game to put down as your soul seeks an outlet. Make journaling a regular practice as you learn to trust yourself to share your own truth.
If you aren’t sure how to start, try listing your blessings. Then move on to your heart’s wants and desires. You can even start devising ways to get there. Don’t worry about spelling or perfect penmanship. This exercise is for your soul, and no one else’s eyes. Just let the words flow. You will start connecting to your innermost soul and begin to realize how you can be happy.
It’s so easy to let this rancorous political season and the images of perfection that bombard us daily leave us with feelings of frustration, inadequacy and despair. You can make the choice, though, to not let that happen. Look inside. Your happiness is there waiting for you to find it. And when you do, why not unleash it to your posse and then the world? We sure could use it.
March 3, 2016