How does one learn to be happy?
No really…let me know. Cause I’d really like some help in that area if anyone happens to have the answer.
Doesn’t it seem so easy to say to another person “Be Happy” when they’re down, or find something equivalent on an inspirational poster, most likely with some kind of animal on it? But I find that when you’re the one searching for it, it’s not that simple.
I’m not sure how long it’s been that I’ve searched for happiness. I feel it, in a sunrise, with the smell of coffee and a warm plate, in a moment shared laughing with friends, in the stillness as I coast down a river observing creation around me, and during many other moments. But just like a fog, the fluff of little moments lifts at some point, and the rest of life presents itself.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed plenty of the fun parts of life and I’m forever grateful for what God has given me. It’s just that I know there’s something more that I’m missing. Something I just can’t quite put my finger on.
Kind of like when you’re searching for a word you can’t think of. It’s not coming to you, so you concentrate harder, trying to will it to present itself. Yet, it is normally when you stop thinking, move on, and continue with the rest of your conversation that it comes, easy as pie. Maybe that’s the part I’m missing to be happy, or at least happier. Stop trying to force my life into the immediacy of now. I need to be happy, now. I need the perfect job, now. I need to live in the right city/place/time, now.
So, maybe I just need to live in the right now.
When I was a kid, I would ask many, many questions. I needed to know the answer to satisfy whatever need I had at the time. “How come I can’t ride my bike by myself? Why can’t I buy my own lotto ticket? How come I can’t eat sugar out of the bowl?”
These are all seemingly valid questions in my opinion, at least at the time. They all relate to real events that I didn’t understand and made me unhappy. Obviously, an unhappy five year old gets over it pretty quickly. But let’s flash to big kid life. Those “problems” before don’t seem like much now compared to the ones I have now. Ones like “Am I achieving all I can, or am I capable of more? How can I find a job I have passion and enjoyment for, but have the income and flexibility to balance travel and expand my experiences? Why is it so complicated to find someone I’m on the same page with in life? Why Jon Snow?” One question usually leads to another, and next thing I know, happiness is scurrying the opposite direction.
So, maybe I need to stop waiting and start creating the answers to my own questions.
As I look back over this, there are a lot of “maybes” noted. They seem to float around in my head like the answer icosahedron* in a Magic 8 Ball. After re-reading my words, though, I think each of these “maybes” represents an important thought process. Something in the right direction of learning to be happy for the long haul. Something to spark my mind and keep me afloat in times of need. Something that will turn a plausible idea into an action item and then finally reality.
So while I keep the motion of life flowing, maybe I can learn how to pick each flower of happiness out of my personal reflections and eventually make a bouquet full of the joy that truly sustains a life.
Maybe happiness can be learned.
Finding my sunshine,
*(Yup that’s really the word, Google it.)