As I lay laughing today at the latest gag from Family Guy, I realized something nice. I am an innately happy person. I am trying to remember the times where I was sad – like really sad. Depressed. Down. But the furthest I can go are times when I was desolated and downhearted and angry – but they never last for more than a few moments and they go away, like clouds pushed by wind after a short summer storm.
So I started thinking – do I do this on purpose? Am I actively working every moment to be happy? Or is this something I do unconsciously?
It all started with my neck operation. I had a few hormones that were acting out when I was a teenager and while people might think it’s normal, mine was a serious affliction that required a knife. And the doctor told me the cause was stress, worry (mostly exam worry as I was applying for a few universities) and I should not stress anymore unless I wanted to see him and his shiny knife again 🙂
So, whenever I caught myself stressing, I would just breathe out and let it go. And I became a more centered human being. Now from not being stressed to being happy, there is a road to take.
I started enjoying the small things. A ladybug on a grass blade. The light falling through the trees in a forest. The sound of a mating pigeon (you get the idea now). And I became at peace. I was (and still am) one with the universe. But that still does not account for happiness.
So what is happiness?
It’s very individualistic. Something that might make YOU happy will do nothing for me. But sometimes it’s not – you can’t frown when you hear a baby laughing or when you see displays of affection among people. You can’t be angry and sad in a house full of love and laughter. And then it hit me. It was laughter that made me happy. When I was sad, I used to smile and say,
Ah, that’s just life for you, you can’t change it so why fret about it?
And smiling made all the difference. Laughing out loud, thinking about funny things or captions for things you see that no-one else can think of, making a bad joke on purpose so you can see people rolling their eyes but still smile, the happiness of others.
I am happy if others are happy.
And I realized, that my inner happiness, while being individualistic and mine alone, was linked to other’s. That’s why I’m a notorious over-giver, (I like to think of myself as a secret Santa all-year-long), a feeder, a hugger and a jokester. Seeing other people smile makes me smile. And my smile makes others smile.
You see what I did here? Are YOU smiling now? Just a little? A twitch in the corner of your mouth? A wrinkle of your eye? A snort of derision at my attempt to cause such a small twist?
It takes work. But it’s worth it. And once you do it once, do it twice, every day becomes an array of happy thoughts and happy times.
Take a picture of something that you saw and you feel strongly about. You are thinking at something else that no-one else can think of. A happy thought.
I’ll give you my example:
When I saw this tree, I knew I had to take a picture of it. Why? The branches were touching the ground, it was like a child caressing his mother where he came from. The leaves are a vibrant green, yellow and blue. Sun and sky make a leaf. The arches hide secrets and history. What if two lovers met here to exchange vows? How many couples had a picnic underneath protected by the prying eyes by the thick foliage? I can picture Baghera lying on the branch looking at me. Or maybe the Cheshire cat? Does this mean I’m a human cub looking for the rabbit who is constantly running? Lisey’s tree from Lisey’s Story by Stephen King. A place where imagination starts and stories begin.
What’s yours? Feel free to post on your blog and link here.