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ashmamma84

Om Namah Shivayah
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So, let's talk happiness. I think for alot of people its sort of elusive, a thing that's just beyond our grasp or somehow we'd instantly be cheery and well with the world if our external circumstances changed for the better.

As far it goes, I think we all have a set point that makes up part and then the other half is basically our choice to change our mind/perspective about being happy. Some might think its a pipe dream, however I really believe its becoming happier from our core isn't so far fetched at all. On a happiness scale how would you rate yourself? (Not just on what's going on right now in your life, but on the whole/average)

So what does it mean to be happy to you?

For me it's peace of mind, a feeling of lightness or weightlessness, having a connection to others and a Higher Source than myself, feeling compassion and practicing forgiveness (oooh how the that's hard!). I feel that no matter what's going on in my life, happiness can be an anchor. Even in bad times I know deep down that I will weather the storm and can land on even keel sooner or later...cause hey! My joy? The world didn't give it, the world can't take it away.
 

Dr. Feelgood

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Let me tell you a story:

A fisherman goes out in his boat at dawn. There are patches of fog on the lake, and as he rows his boat, all of a sudden he sees another boat coming straight at him through the fog! He rows furiously and shouts "Watch out!" but the boat just keeps coming and smacks right into him. He opens his mouth to give the other fellow a piece of his mind ... but there isn't anyone in the boat! It slipped its mooring, and the current carried it into his path. He starts to laugh.

Happiness, to me, is realizing that a lot of the things -- and people -- that irritate me are just empty boats. Certain events and conditions made them the way they are and set them on this course. The snippy salesclerk has had to deal with obnoxious customers all day; the guy who gives me the fish eye may have had words with his wife -- or his boss. If I can keep this in mind and not take the irritation to heart, they'll float on their way. I don't know when I first realized that happiness was less a matter of what happens to me than how I look at it, but I've been working on my attitude for thirty years now -- and I'll keep at it until they nail the box shut on me. And right now, I would have to say that I am the happiest person I know.
 

Tau

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I'm happy - I know this because I spent several years being desperatly unhappy :p. There's a song my dad used to play when we were little - and the lyrics went you can't really know sunshine till you've experienced the rain. Happiness for me is love, connection to other people, health, lightness of being and peace of mind. Also, not being bored. There are situations in my life I am currently discontent with. My job has gotta change, I'd really like to be in a steady loving relationship, I want a flat where I can keep a dog (I really want a doggie *sniffles*), I want my photography business to be a success, I want perfect skin. But, at the moment, those things feel minor. I've been blessed with so much else it often overwhelms me. And if I had to rate my happiness on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Nirvana and 1 the depths of despair - right now I'm sitting at 8.
 

Tau

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Let me tell you a story:

A fisherman goes out in his boat at dawn. There are patches of fog on the lake, and as he rows his boat, all of a sudden he sees another boat coming straight at him through the fog! He rows furiously and shouts "Watch out!" but the boat just keeps coming and smacks right into him. He opens his mouth to give the other fellow a piece of his mind ... but there isn't anyone in the boat! It slipped its mooring, and the current carried it into his path. He starts to laugh.

Happiness, to me, is realizing that a lot of the things -- and people -- that irritate me are just empty boats. Certain events and conditions made them the way they are and set them on this course. The snippy salesclerk has had to deal with obnoxious customers all day; the guy who gives me the fish eye may have had words with his wife -- or his boss. If I can keep this in mind and not take the irritation to heart, they'll float on their way. I don't know when I first realized that happiness was less a matter of what happens to me than how I look at it, but I've been working on my attitude for thirty years now -- and I'll keep at it until they nail the box shut on me. And right now, I would have to say that I am the happiest person I know.
I like your story a lot. One of the biggest lessons I learnt about happiness was that it is important that you don't hinge your sense of self and completition on external factors. I strongly believe people need people to be happy. I know that if I was not part of a family, of a community, I would be less than i am. But, even though we need each other, its critical not to base everything you are and feel on people who are not you and are not your God. Learning that gave me very real peace of mind.
 

LovelyLiz

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Happiness, to me, is realizing that a lot of the things -- and people -- that irritate me are just empty boats.
I really like your story too -- and I agree that since I've been able to stop taking everything so personally (and realize they are just empty boats), I have been like a million percent happier. For me it was definitely a part of getting older; like in my teens and early-mid 20s I was all angsty and took everything personally. Then in my mid-late 20s and now my early 30s I'm a lot happier because I realize that a lot of the time people are dealing with their own stuff, and it only occasionally has to do with me.

Being happy just means that I feel pretty content with where I am in life. It doesn't mean that I don't have longings that remain unmet (I definitely do), but it just means that I don't cling to those unmet longings so closely that I let them overshadow all the really great things in my life. So I guess for me happiness is, in a really central way, about gratitude.
 
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ashmamma84

Om Namah Shivayah
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I really like your story too -- and I agree that since I've been able to stop taking everything so personally (and realize they are just empty boats), I have been like a million percent happier. For me it was definitely a part of getting older; like in my teens and early-mid 20s I was all angsty and took everything personally. Then in my mid-late 20s and now my early 30s I'm a lot happier because I realize that a lot of the time people are dealing with their own stuff, and it only occasionally has to do with me.

Being happy just means that I feel pretty content with where I am in life. It doesn't mean that I don't have longings that remain unmet (I definitely do), but it just means that I don't cling to those unmet longings so closely that I let them overshadow all the really great things in my life. So I guess for me happiness is, in a really central way, about gratitude.
Yes! This hits home for me.

In the last couple years and especially this year it's been about gratitude for me as well. Even if I feel things shouldn't be as they are or would like them to be, there are still things I can be thankful about. I don't think life is all doom and gloom. Personally, I can see beauty in struggle though uncomfortable it may be.

Another thing that has helped with this realization is present moment awareness. Sometimes I think I would get so "woe is me" because it would be emotional story telling from the past or being fearful of the future. But, if I were to bring my attention to the present, a lot of times there wouldn't be a problem worth losing sleep over. So, I'm trying to be grateful for everything in my life - big and small.
 

Tania

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I think the last time I sat down and thought, "Holy shit, I'm actually HAPPY!" was early January, 2000. Then things proceeded to swifty row to hell in a handbasket, lol. I'm not back to that kind of overreaching contentedness yet, but I'm hopeful.

Life has gotten SO much better in the last five years that there are several elements of existence with which I *am* truly happy right now. I'm happy with my health and my body. I'm happy with my education. I like being a college instructor, although I need a more reliable, tenure-track position. I am thankful for my great friends and loving family. I am happy to be warm, safe, and comfortable. I don't have a lot of money right now, but I am grateful to have excellent credit, little debt, and a harmonious living situation.
 

ashmamma84

Om Namah Shivayah
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I think the last time I sat down and thought, "Holy shit, I'm actually HAPPY!" was early January, 2000. Then things proceeded to swifty row to hell in a handbasket, lol. I'm not back to that kind of overreaching contentedness yet, but I'm hopeful.

Life has gotten SO much better in the last five years that there are several elements of existence with which I *am* truly happy right now. I'm happy with my health and my body. I'm happy with my education. I like being a college instructor, although I need a more reliable, tenure-track position. I am thankful for my great friends and loving family. I am happy to be warm, safe, and comfortable. I don't have a lot of money right now, but I am grateful to have excellent credit, little debt, and a harmonious living situation.
That's really beautiful, Tania.

I am trying a little experiment with myself - It's called being happy for no reason. :D I'm running around trying to finish last minute things for the holidays, I'd gotten turned around and because I wasn't heeding my GPS directions I landed up in BFE. So I was highly pissed and cursing like a sailor...and suddenly I decided to just stop, pull over and BREATHE. It made finding home that much easier. Oh and I decided that my GPS knows best. :D
 

tattooU

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Obviously, happiness is many things to many people. For me, it's knowing i am loved (family, friends, boyfriend and dogs), i have a roof over my head and a job to go to everyday. And especially control over my life. This isn't to say that my lack of money doesn't stress me out, or that my piles of bills aren't worrysome, nor that my high strung sister doesn't drain me emotionally. But they are little bumps on the road of life.

i've been through some very low points in my 30 years. For me, it's been about keeping positive and growing as a human being. i think the saddest points in my life were when i felt stagnant. Not growing in love, job or life. Feeling stuck and out of control of my life.

i feel fortunate to have everything that i do, a rewarding job, terrific friends, a loving family, adoring dogs and the cutest house i could ask for. (Oh! Don't forget the ridiculously adorable boyfriend :wubu:)

i've seen the peaks and valleys. i know how horrible it can get. Regardless of how hard i've worked for everything i have, i always feel i'm quite the lucky woman.
 

liz (di-va)

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I am newly focused on the area of forgiveness in my life. What it means, how it works, how to practice it, what feels like forgiveness but is something else... I am liking it, it seems to contribute to the Happy. Or the flow that contributes to Happy.
 

katherine22

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I no longer torment myself with the idea of happiness. I am content to cope with the inevitable without going insane.
 

SocialbFly

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I find myself content lately, but not all that happy...

happiness is elusive..it doesnt come at a steady stream for me, but more in bits and pieces...i find the place i am happiest in my life with, is having supportive friends...and i used to think that i dont really care for st louis as being home, but have just recently figured out, that maybe our friends and our family are home...not a place...

anyway, that is where i am at...
 

Inhibited

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Am happy sure things could be better but they can also be worse, and am so grateful for everything and everyone i have in my life..... i must admit though i do worry sometimes that i will get fired from my job or something horrible will happen to someone i <3, but this isn't happening as much as years ago i decided that i would just live in the moment and stop worrying about something that may not happen.......... I think people seem to look to others for happiness as i know some ppl who think that a partner would make them happy..
 

DeniseW

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Please teach me the art of forgiveness...I need it badly.



I am newly focused on the area of forgiveness in my life. What it means, how it works, how to practice it, what feels like forgiveness but is something else... I am liking it, it seems to contribute to the Happy. Or the flow that contributes to Happy.
 

ashmamma84

Om Namah Shivayah
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I no longer torment myself with the idea of happiness. I am content to cope with the inevitable without going insane.
I really think that's part of my happiness. It's not believing that things will be roses and unicorns. I think when your happiness isn't dependent on external circumstances (true happiness) you can have any emotion -- sadness, fear, anger, hurt, etc but you still have a sense of well being and peace. You stop trying to fix the bits and pieces of your life to try to make yourself happy. You begin to live from happiness instead of living for happiness.

So, that's what I am trying to do in my life. It's hard, but I'm finding that I'm less frazzled or prone to flip out. Day by day, I say. :) Day by day.
 

bigjayne66

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I haven't been really happy since my hubby passed away,had one brief relationship since,got my mother nagging me over my weight,I eat more,add more pounds (28 or so this year),apart from limited mobility my health isn't too bad for someone approaching 44 years old and over 400lbs,I have a lovely little dog,and a nice neighbour who has a big heart,apart from no BF I have some things to be happy about.:)
 

Theresa48

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Happy is something I am from time to time. When my grandchild hugs me spontaneously and says "I love you," I am happy. When my partner is able to move his fingers for the first time since his stroke, I am happy. My family, my friends can spark that feeling of joy and contentment in my heart. Most of the time, I am okay with who I am and my life. Is that a sense of happiness? I take happiness where and when I can get it because for me it doesn't seem possible to be a consistant feeling. I have an aunt that I love dearly and I can say that she has always been a happy person no matter the circumstances in her life. She radiates joy and faith wherever she goes. She is my role model for growing older gracefully. She has the attributes that I work towards having one day. She describes me as being the "rock" in the family. I can be depended on to be there for people. I am steady and faithful. I think she gives me too much credit. : > )

(an aside: this is my favorite forum on Dimensions. The women here are truly beautiful and the topics interesting/relevant to me. I am learning a lot here.)
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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My happiness....and I truly feel it a lot.....is like a big middle finger stuck up at those that seemed to wish for my unhappiness.

Happiness is the best revenge.
 

liz (di-va)

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Denise, this book is pretty good: Forgive for Good. Self-helpy, and in need of some editing, but it's a decent resource, I think!

I wouldn't begin to know how to tell anybody else how to forgive, but because forgiveness is sometimes such a difficult idea I find most any examination of it helpful.
 
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