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A year ago I interviewed several women for my Ph.D. dissertation. I asked them about their families, love, and happiness. One of them shared with me a story about her father. He was a wise and very positive person. Every time when he spoke with his daughters he always asked one simple question, which not many people dare to ask – “Are you happy, my dear?”
Are you happy?
Is there a more important question to ask a relative, or a friend? Are you happy? It is just so simple and at the same time so complex.
Are you happy? Yes or No!
As a therapist I generally dislike the term HAPPINESS first of all because in today’s world it sounds like an obligation, another item on your checklist, and this is not a healthy way to look at it. On the other hand, it is a very personal DECISION we are alone in picking the meaning of what happiness means for us, and are we happy or not. But even though it is fuzzy and difficult to grasp from a scientific point of view. It is extremely important to think trough one important question – What is happiness FOR ME?
Well… for me…
…Happiness is achieving a certain level of sanity and wisdom. It gives you a wide perspective about your life. It integrates your past, your present, and your future.
Happiness is not just a moment in your biography. There is a common misconception that you will only be happy when there are certain circumstances, or whenever the event X finally happens. Achievements, possessions, and relationships alone can’t make you happy. If you expect that some external factors will contribute to your happiness, you should give up this illusion.
Happiness is never in the past. However happy memories you have, you cannot assume that you have had all the happy moments already. There is always a way to make new memories.
Paradoxically as it sounds, happiness is not here and now either. Here and now is the pleasure, the thrill of the achievement of something new and brave, but this is not happiness. Happiness is something permanent.
Happiness is the conjunction among past, present, and future. It is the ability to remember the good moments more clearly than the struggle and the pain. It is the childish emotional reaction towards the surprises, the ability to take up new activities with enthusiasm.
Happiness is the ability to enjoy the current pleasures and let yourself enjoy them without feeling guilty. It is the ability to let yourself suffer in pain when something/ or someone dear to you is lost, without trying to block the pain and push it deep inside where it will eat you little by little during your entire life. Happiness is the ability to talk to your loved ones without judging or being judged, letting yourself be vulnerable, and believing that sooner or later everything will be OK.
A happy person is the one who is creative and finds the will to pursue his/her goals and if they turn out to be impossible to achieve (this happens quite often), to learn a lesson and start again, finding new exciting ways to improve. Happiness is the ability to give up dreams while creating new ones without losing our enthusiasm.
Are you a happy person? Everyone can be. If you believe that you are not, just find your unique way to be happy, because the path towards happiness is the path to wisdom.