Joy in moments
I hate ads that portray someone who’s insanely happy because they finally own product X, and now their life is perfect. Some of us spend our lives pursuing that state of ecstatic happiness, the one where we’re so happy we feel like we’re going to explode. We’ll reach that peak someday and it’ll be smooth sailing from there, right?
As awful as it sounds, I don’t think this kind of happiness exists. Sure we have moments of excitement. Sometimes we laugh so hard we might pee our pants, but these are moments. We can’t sustain that level of intensity for long periods of time. For one thing, our bodily functions would probably give out, but the biggest reason is that true happiness isn’t possible without moments of sadness, frustration, or pain. Without something to oppose it, to compare it to, happiness doesn’t happen.
What we can have is a state of contentment, a generally happy existence with lousy times in between. Letting go of the makeup-ad portrayal of happiness is important in reaching contentment. Bliss comes in moments.
I have a homework assignment for you. Make a list of what truly brings you joy, and leave it in the comments, and be specific. What are the moments that make you think “I’m happy.” I’ll go first:
- One of the kitties curling up on my lap
- That perfect harmony I find with Sam when we’re both in weird moods and nothing we do makes any sense to anyone but us
- Listening to a great some that fits the moment perfectly
- Craving something delicious, then getting it and loving every bite
- A beautiful sky while I’m out walking. It’s like nature saying “Hi McKella!”
- Going for a really long walk or bike ride just because I don’t have anywhere else to be
- Hitting my sweet spot when I’m writing
- An afternoon with an awesome book.
Now it’s your turn. Ready, set, go!