HAPPINESS

 

WHERE IS HAPPINESS?  and  HOW DO I FIND IT?

 

First I looked outside myself – I looked at my clothes, hair, weight, face, etc.  Next, I looked to others – my family and friends. Then I looked to my environment. I looked at my school and my job and  I looked to my talents, activities and hobbies. I looked to my money and possessions but something was missing – none of these ever satisfied for very long.

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Then, when I found out that I was pregnant, I looked to having a baby – and I just knew that this would finally be the answer. A beautiful baby of my very own to love and who would love me back. Then, I would finally be happy.

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Isn’t that what we all have thought at some point and in some form or fashion. Something or someone else could make us happy. Yes, I will admit that having a child – being involved with the raising of the next generation and sharing in the shaping of the future of civilization – is an incredible journey that leads to many, many blessings along the way. But, does it truly lead to the happiness that we are all looking for?

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Happiness as defined by Webster’s Dictionary: “a state of well-being and contentment” and “pleasurable and satisfying experience” and “joy.”  In many ways, motherhood fits this description and that is why we are discussing it in this post.

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By the way, in my posts, I am going to define motherhood as a person who nurtures, protects, and shows affection to a young person, so this can be either a biological or non-biological relationship. Now, back to today’s subject. These are two good questions, that I hope to answer in this topic. As always, please share your thoughts after you read mine. Mothers are very nurturing people and are willing to go to great lengths to give everything they possibly can to their children. As a Mom, I loved my children, even before they were born, and have continued to love them even as they have grown up. We have had happy and sad times. We have had easy and difficult times. There have been times when we have listened to each other and other times when we couldn’t hear what the other was saying. And yes, there have been times when neither of us were perfect, and either one or both of us have made wrong choices and have caused the other stress and pain. That’s part of the human experience that unfortunately none of us can avoid. Each of us have an agenda, and depending on our growth and patience, often these agendas can bring challenges in our relationships.

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In spite of all this, the one thing that has never wavered for me (as a Mom) is that I have never stopped loving them. Oh, yes, we have been separated by miles and emotions more than once, but I never stopped wanting the best for them or praying for them. That has brought happiness to me. The contentment and joy of knowing that I have been a part of their lives. I have been there to bring them into this world and to prepare them (to the best of my ability) to shape the future for their children and their world. Motherhood is part of a bigger picture – much more. For our world to survive (generation after generation) some group of people need to nurture the young in a meaningful way that will train them for the challenges that they will face in the coming days and years. When done day-after-day, and year-after year, the positive result will be happiness and success for all involved. The children will be happy because they will feel ready, loved, and attached to people who truly are interested in their well-being. The mothers will be happy because they will know that they have done their best to make this possible. They have been the ones to successfully teach the young and have been with them in both the good and bad times. This, in my opinion, is the toughest and most important job in the world.

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It has been said that nothing good or lasting comes without pain and I know personally that this is true for motherhood. Motherhood starts with pain (the pain of childbirth), continues with pain (the training of a personality different from yours) and ends with pain (the death of a loved one). When I started this topic I mentioned many of the places people look to for happiness; namely people, places, and things.

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Although external sources made me happy for brief periods of time, they never really brought long-lasting happiness. It seemed like something was still missing. Then I started to look inward. Much to my surprise, I have found that true happiness comes from within. It may be easy to say but, believe me, it is difficult to do. It has taken me a lifetime and continues to challenge me today.  Happiness does come from the inside and is a combination of contentment with your reality; gratitude for the many blessings you have received; patience in the face of challenges; tenderness and affection in difficult times; teachability and flexibility when life brings the unexpected; and acceptance of the efforts that you have been able to accomplish. Happiness is possible for each of us and is a worthy goal for all of us to work towards. Start today looking for contentment, gratitude, patience, tenderness, affection, flexibility, teachability, and real acceptance of your behaviors, actions, and thoughts,  in every moment of your life.  If you find real happiness it will bring you more inner (real) joy than you ever thought possible. It really is possible but it doesn’t happen quickly. Be patient – then be patient some more – that’s the first step after self-control.

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Start today by looking for these expressions of happiness (bold words in the previous paragraph) and write them down when you experience them. Just doing this will increase your happiness. It really will. May you live each day not only giving happiness to others, but also experiencing happiness in yourself. Bye for now – “P”

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