what is happiness?

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition. - Martha Washington 

The dictionary defines happiness as "the state of being happy". At the risk of unleashing my inner Chandler Bing, could that BE any more vague? I suppose it's actually an incredibly meaningless and meaningful statement simultaneously, depending on how you read it.

Anyway.... let's think about happiness for a second. Not what other people say happiness is, not what society claims will make us happy (money, things, "beauty", more money) but let's truly think hard on what it means to us.

Interestingly, perhaps we need to know what it is to be unhappy before we realize we can be happy. The ultimate mind-f*ck. After all, how do we know anything without contrast? But do we actually have to know what it is to be down and dirty miserable before we can know what it is to be just a little happy?

Interesting, existential, oh so deep... but maybe happiness isn't as complicated as all that. Maybe it's just a simple choice, a conscious decision to get over ourselves already and let the joy flood in once and for all.

Can happiness be found in a pill? In the bottom of a bottle? Or is it really in the fullness of our hearts, as all the ancient sages have tried to tell us? Maybe the key is being brave enough to authentically feel - to really feel even the scary feelings - and find out for ourselves.

Journal/Sketch Prompt: What do you think? Write some thoughts about happiness down in your journal or sketch out some things that mean "happy" to you. What's the key to happiness in your life? What have you come to so far through to this point of your life's journey? Find a happiness quote you like and copy it into your pages for later inspiration.

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