Journey into happiness

The term happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. It is also used in the context of life satisfaction, subjective well-being, eudaimonia, flourishing and well-being.

I love the song ‘The Dog days are over’ by Florence and The Machine. ‘Happiness hit her like a train on a track, coming towards her, no turning back’. Does happiness hit us like a train on a track? I am not quite sure whether that is true. However what is true is that sometimes happiness comes towards us and so does hope.

Hope and happiness are not the same. I feel that happiness is somewhat evasive and is not necessarily a common feature of life. For those of us who have suffered trauma in great measure, happiness has often seemed far far away. Hope on the other hand has always been there, but I haven’t always seen her. I have often seen Despair.

So I am not sure whether aiming for happiness is always the best journey to make. I would suggest aiming for contentment instead. Contentment is a state where even when circumstances are not ideal there is nonetheless a peaceful acceptance.

To be content doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re thankful for what you have and patient for what’s to come.” Tony Gaskins

So I prefer a journey into contentment than the elusive happiness path. I choose to accept the things I cannot change as the prayer recommends and try to find hope in every day. And a byproduct is contentment. Contentment is starting to come towards me and yes there is no turning back.

So today’s hope recipe is to consider the difference between happiness and contentment. And in these turbulent times, let us focus on squeezing the best out of our days. Let us spend time with our precious people, have fun, go for walks, make phone calls. And let us remain hopeful in the midst of pain and the threat of this virus. I read on an amazing woman offering support on Facebook to the elderly in her community. Let us support one another, particularly the most vulnerable amongst us.

Have a contented week X

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