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Happiness: A Contemplation


Ask anyone you’ve ever known or interacted with and they will tell you that they’ve thought or said the phrase,

“I want to be happy”.

As people we’re bombarded with the message that something outside ourselves will “make us happy”. Whether it be a person, a job, a product, the list goes on and on for things to bring us joy.

“Once I get this, then I’ll be happy”.

However, happiness is an emotion. We don’t “be” happy, we “feel” happy. If someone said to you that they wanted to “be sad”, you’d be concerned, yet happiness has been presented as an emotion that we should constantly strive for.

As an alternative to trying to be happy, let’s try to be. We exist, as we are, at all times, whether we acknowledge ourselves in this state or not. Our feelings present themselves to us to help us learn about ourselves and our beliefs about ourselves and others.

The next time you’re in the midst of feeling, try to ask yourself questions like:

“What is it about the situation or person that is making this feeling come up for me?”

”What is this feeling showing me about myself?”

”How can I utilize this knowledge in the future?”

Try to explore your feelings without engaging with them. Remind yourself that all of these emotions are temporary. Try to avoid labeling your thoughts and feelings as “good” or “bad”, all of them are there to help you learn. Remember we’re all people journeying through this life for the first time, feel everything and be.

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