Sunday, April 21, 2013

Redefining Happiness

What is happiness? I suppose each person would define it differently. When I was Mormon, I was told two contradictory ideas about happiness. I was told that I was completely responsible for my happiness  regardless of circumstances, but I was also told that happiness would not really be attained in this life and if I endured, it would be waiting for me in the afterlife.

This was all very confusing for me. I was in a very unfulfilling marriage and I was told that if the circumstances of my marriage weren't making me unhappy, if I would just change my attitude and stop moping, I would become happy. I was also told that I would likely remain unhappy the duration of my life, but if I endured by remaining married and faithful, I would be blessed and find happiness in the life after.

None of this made sense to me, and I couldn't believe in a god that wanted me to continue in unhappiness; so I got a divorce and left religion.

In getting a divorce and leaving the religious mindset, I discovered happiness.

What I found is that happiness can be found. It isn't mysterious, vague or unattainable. Happiness is often a choice, but can also be lost in circumstances of grief and profound loss or abuse. I also found that we have a choice to walk away from abuse that makes us unhappy and embrace happiness. We may grieve for a time, but we can choose to find happiness once again.

I look for happiness in each day. Sometimes it is in the most beautiful rainbow that I have ever seen.
Sometimes it is in laughing with my children. Sometimes in an intimate moment, or just reading a good book. Yet each day, I can often find something that fulfills my happiness quotient.

Happiness is found in the everyday, simple things. I am so glad I have redefined happiness and found myself within it.

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