Psychology describes happiness as a life that is good, meaningful, and worthwhile. If you paused and pondered how your life is right now and I asked you if you are happy, what would your answer be?
Our life has been turned upside down since the pandemic. Our definition of happiness eight months ago might be different from now. What I learned from this current pandemic is the notion that being happy is a choice. As much as anything that is worth having in life, being happy and exuding joy takes effort, time, and patience. Our mind is an amazing servant; unfortunately, it will never be the best master. However, we have the ability to have full control over our thoughts. Happiness is a mindset that we can cultivate.
Each one of us has our own definition of happiness. As the trajectory of our life progresses, our definition of happiness also changes. I’ve met people who only have money that you can count with your fingers and people who have been through an abyss of darkness. However, they exude joy beyond measure. Their smiles and laughter are as bright as the sun, which can energize every bone in your being. On the contrary, I’ve also met people who possess immeasurable amounts of riches and who our current society considers successful. But despite it all, they lack color and joy in their life. They look like zombies who are struggling, while walking through the intricacies of life.
A happy life doesn’t mean life without pain. Quite the contrary, the happiest people are the souls that have witnessed darkness but chose to see the light in spite of it all. They gave their pain a purpose. The purpose to teach them how to be strong, resilient, and courageous. Every experience and life lessons they’ve gained along the way gave their life meaning.
“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.” – Carl Jung
We are going through unprecedented times. However, I hope you still find pockets of joy wherever you go. I hope you find courage to sit through the feelings of restlessness. I hope you’ll be brave enough to find out what makes you happy. And if you don’t know the answer yet, I hope you find patience until you learn what brings you joy. I hope you show yourself kindness when you start doubting your purpose. I hope you show compassion towards yourself while finding out what gives your life meaning. I hope you embrace the fact that life is at times uncertain, hard, and confusing. But there are also moments when life is kind, beautiful, and tender. Eventually, I hope you’ll be able to answer the question, “What makes you happy” And when you do, I hope you do more of what makes you happy and not feel guilty about it. I hope your life spills over with joy and wonder. I hope at the end of it all, you’ll be proud to say that you had a well-lived life. Although you acquired a number of battle wounds, your life was also good, meaningful, and worthwhile.