William Stanney, OFM 11 p.m., Dec. 17
- Community Blog
- The Art Of Happiness
The Art Of Happiness
After living most of my life without really knowing how the emotion “happy” actually felt, through hard work and some deep soul-searching, I finally figured out the art of being happy. Through hard work and some serious soul-searching, I finally figured out the art of being happy… and to my surprise, it came from within myself! I tried all the different ways to be happy. I looked to other people, sure I could get my happiness from them; if I enjoyed being around them, being with them would make me happy, right? Wrong. I tried buying my way to happiness with expensive clothes and other material possessions. Did that make me happy? No. Happiness is something we achieve on our own. Only I can make myself happy.
I always thought that others were my source of fulfillment; they were supposed to make me happy. “You make me happy,” and “I’m happiest when I’m with you,” were common phrases I would speak. “Only you can make yourself happy,” was a common response. I couldn’t believe that. I didn’t feel capable or worthy of my own self-love so I looked for it in others. How could I be happy and content without someone else there to make me feel that way? There was nothing good enough about me to bring out the happiness others somehow knew was hiding deep inside.
I also tried the shopping approach; things could not make me happy either. I bought thousands of dollars’ worth of clothes, shoes, jewelry, makeup, trinkets, room decorations and so much more. I always felt great when I tried things on, happy with the image staring back at me from the mirror, but at the end of each month, I just became more and more in debt. Retail therapy was a temporary fix. But as soon as I got home, the fix was over and I was back to being just my plain, old, unhappy self. My “things” didn’t change who I was.
Only I can make myself happy. It took one of my closest friends telling me she needed a break from my negative and destructive behavior to make me take a step back and reevaluate my life. I had to look deep inside myself, into the center of my soul to find who I really was. I didn’t need to rely on someone else to bring happiness into my life. I’ve had it all along, but was repressing it because I didn’t feel worthy. I just didn’t think I could do it. But as Audrey Hepburn once said, “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says I’m Possible.”
Happiness doesn’t come from other people and you surely can’t buy it either; happiness comes from within and only then, one will be contented with their life. People will come and go out of your life and things you buy will get old, worn and thrown out. The only constant in your life is you. The only thing you can rely on is you. You don’t need people or things to make you happy… all you need is yourself.