Updated: Sep 6, 2018
There is a place for happiness. For everyone. Nobody is too broken, too broke, too victimized, too privileged, too anything to find happiness.
But happiness is something that is earned, not granted. It takes work. It takes healing. It takes discipline. It takes courage. It takes a rebellious spirit.
It is not something anybody can give us. It is not something that can be taken from us either. It is ours to find and ours to keep.
Happiness is not childlike joy. That is our birthright. Although re-connecting our joy is absolutely a part of it.
Happiness is not privilege. Having access to more money, resources and power is not the same as happiness.
Happiness exists in the realm of the soul. Money doesn't buy happiness. Greed and abuses of power undermine the relational balance that is a precursor to happiness. When we are not in balance with our social eco-system, we cannot know happiness.
Happiness is not bypassing the shadow and trying to always stay in the light. It is not repressing our humanness, our raw emotions, our pain, our mistakes, or the ways we have hurt others.
Happiness is not the absence of difficulties. It is not shutting down our heart to avoid feeling loss. It is not abstaining from life and joy and love in order to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change.
Happiness is an attitude.
It is commitment to your own self.
A contentment seeded deep in the soul.
A negotiation with the darkness. A deal with death.
An acceptance of life's fullness and cycles.
It is a harmonious stance towards life and towards strife, which liberates us from suffering.
Where is your happy place? For me right now it is at my late Aunt Happy's land. A little corner of the Earth where she built a sanctuary for healing and happiness. The drive outside of Madison through the rolling hills and winding roads, the greetings of the birds, the tenderness of the land- it feels like a giant embrace.
I can feel my body letting go and releasing stress. Any pain I'm carrying feels as if it is melting into the Earth. Everything around me becomes a reminder of presence, of the oneness of all things, and the peace in surrendering to the moment. I am allowed to be. And in the moment, I can be happy.