Author Topic: "happiness"  (Read 1486 times)

Mizpah

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"happiness"
« on: May 19, 2016, 01:56:24 PM »
We throw this word around a lot.  We seek it.  We miss it.  We attain it, we lose it.  We see glimpses of it.  We see it in others and feel jealous.  Etc., etc.

Some have talked recently about the pressure to be positive being harmful.  This quote (below) seems a better goal. 

I'm not saying we shouldn't strive for good feelings and a state of being that has contentment and fulfillment.  We should.  But I think we often don't even know what we mean by "happiness," that it's become a word without meaning, without attainability, that we feel that if we aren't always smiling and blissful, we are failing. 

(I'm referring to recent threads about positivity.  I've in the past hated what I consider "the positivity cult," but I'm also seeing in my life that I need more simplicity and less pressure on myself, meaning to let go of standards that tell me I'm only successful when I'm in some kind of crazy unsustainable always-laughing, everything-is-wonderful state of perfection.  To find "happiness" in more realistic, normal, simple ways.  So I suppose, after all this railing I've done, I'm "giving in" to positivity!  Hahahaha.  But that's just my personal part.  I'm posting this as a more universal thing.)

I love this quote, even though I hate cliche memes.  I don't know what happiness means - to me, when others say it, what we mean culturally....  But I understand this quote. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 02:56:49 PM by Mizpah »
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Wheelerswife

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2016, 03:03:19 PM »
Mizpah,

I think at one time I was in that "positivity cult" and even directed some of that at you.  I learned a lot from that interaction...I don't even know if you remember it way back when.  I've learned that there is a difference between sharing positivity and implying that others can find it, too, by following the path that worked for oneself or someone else.  It just ain't that easy.  There is a huge part of me that wants to find the kind of happiness I once knew.  I did it once...found great happiness after loss.  There is another part of me that fears I may not find that again.  I don't want to listen to that voice.  In spite of all the trials I face, I still want to hope that I will, in a different way, be very happy again.  I suppose that looks different for different people, but don't we all want it?

Maureen...who apologizes for her bad behavior several years ago.
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Mizpah

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2016, 03:36:33 PM »
Oh gosh, I don't recall it at all, and have no bad associations/feelings toward you whatsoever.  Apparently my memory has freed me of that, so I hope you're freed from it as well!

I think from books and movies, and from my relationship with DH (that took place under very easy circumstances), I have an idea in my head of what happiness is, that prevents me from finding peace and sweetness or contentment, in my new life.  I think letting go of these notions we get from films and "culture" (commercials?  FB?) will help me find something better.  Maybe I just need to redefine the word for myself - less that crazy yellow smiley face and more gritty real life moments of love.

I think for me, seeking the happiness I knew is self-sabotage.  I think finding a new happiness is going to be my quest, and, like the positivity cult language, I think I need to find it from within myself (to change my outlook, which gives me standards no one can achieve), whereas before, it was all around me, it was so easy.  I'm just babbling at this point! 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 03:38:13 PM by Mizpah »
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

April

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2016, 04:50:36 PM »
I am always an advocate for positive thinking.. I don't think positive thinking automatically equals happiness though..  I think it makes it easier to find happiness.. I agree that everyone's quest and paths are different.

My counselor asked me what makes me happy.. I knew this was a trick question and he was going to analyze the crap out of it.. but I was interested in the outcome of his analysis of me.. so I thought about it.. what really made me smile ear to ear.. my only answer I could think of is.. when my children succeed.. when they win a match or a game or place in a meet.. or get an A on a test and they are so proud of themselves because they worked so hard for it.. nothing in this world makes me happier.. Then he hands me a pamphlet on codependency  :-\  I guess that was the wrong answer.

How is there a wrong answer in what makes you happy.. my kids make me happy.. yes one day they will be grown.. I realize that!! I'm sure I will find happiness in something else.. maybe even my grandchildren.. my grandparents still go to my kids games/meets.. I don't plan on retiring from my family anytime soon.

When I was little I found happiness in riding my bike and rollerskating.. now I think those things would make me cry lol  our happiness changes as we grow and evolve.. I really hope you find your new happy.. everyone deserve it :)

canadiangirl

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2016, 04:58:00 PM »
Thanks Mizpah.  I absolutely love this post and that Emerson quote and it articulates beautifully what  I strive for and certainly cannot say I have at this point.  Some day...

TooSoon

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2016, 05:55:57 PM »
Mizpah,  this isn't exactly related to your post but earlier today I posted Cheryl Sandberg's commencement speech at UC Berkeley.  It really resonated. 

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/05/16/hard-days-that-determine-who-you-are/3R5MODlB8w8QcDt8X8BlEO/story.html


Quixote

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 06:32:28 PM »
I like the Emerson quote a lot. I'm coming to accept the idea that the pain will never go, but if I embrace the idea that life still has meaning, getting through the day is easier.  http://

Taurus

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2016, 07:56:57 PM »

.. what really made me smile ear to ear.. my only answer I could think of is.. when my children succeed.. when they win a match or a game or place in a meet.. or get an A on a test and they are so proud of themselves because they worked so hard for it.. nothing in this world makes me happier...

Bingo! Tear-inducing happiness for me is watching our girls play so well that opposition supporters and coaches ask who they are and I simply give them their names. Graduation ceremonies. End-of-year prize-giving. Happiness for me is seeing our girls happy..

Golf used to make me "happy", but it's not the same any more: it's now 4-5 hours of companionship with my mates at the end of the week. One or two of my mates are at marital crossroads: I've pulled them aside and asked how they would feel if they suddenly became widowers...

I don't know if I'll ever experience the happiness I enjoyed when my beloved was with us- her infectious laughter and positivity, watching her bring happiness to people she helped emotionally and financially, the fun impetuous things we used to do - like going to a "P" party dressed as a Pimp (me) and her as a Prostitute bringing the bar to a standstill...35 years together, 3 days short of 30 years married.

I live in a state of emotional limbo, a state of necessity-enforced emotional uncertainty, with plenty of time alone while our girls are at work and school respectively during the week. Time to appreciate all we shared in our 35 years. And to try to come to terms with the emptiness..

April

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2016, 09:40:19 PM »
Yes.. their happiness is our happiness.. and on the flip side we own their heartache too.

I think joy lives in the laughter of children.. you just can't not smile when you hear it.

Your wife sounds like she was a wonderful lady.. I am so sorry you lost her.


canadiangirl

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Re: "happiness"
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 08:21:59 AM »
I checked in here to add this post to this thread because although it's mostly about creativity, I think it applies to grief as well- the notion that we cannot always control the timing of how we feel (including "happiness") and when the conditions are ripe for "success", in whatever form it might take.  I think we have a bit more control than this article lets on, but it's a good antidote for some self-help.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-varon/to-anyone-who-thinks-theyre-falling-behind_b_9190758.html?%3Fir=Canada&section=ca_canada&utm_hp_ref=canada