What is Happiness?
What is it
This thing they call happiness?
Is it the laughter
Followed by a joke?
Is it the smile cracked
After a friendly word?
Is it the giggle
At somebody else's amusing plight?
What is happiness?
Sure, it's a state of being
A state of being happy
But, how can you be happy?
The recipe is really simple
There is not much to it
Some may admit
Here is my definition
Here are my thoughts:
Happiness is that feeling
That warm feeling inside
When you have a smile on your face
That smile you just can't hide
It's happiness when you sing a tune
Without even understanding why
It's happiness when you take a run
For sheer pleasure, no other reason why
It's happiness when you are content
With what you have and deserve
It's happiness when you sing along
To life's tune and every word
When you sing along without contempt
Just feeling blessed to be alive
Realizing that you are special
And that there is no need to hide
When you are blessed
And true friends
It's happiness when
You can't complain
Because no matter the struggles
You still have a huge gain
A huge gain in reasons for smiling
A huge gain in reasons for not crying
Reasons for laughing out loud
Reasons for living, making such a big and lively sound
It's when you are a blessing
To those people around you
That you feel that happiness
In your heart; let it be to astound you
Look for reasons to be helpful
To be a blessing and not a curse
That's when you'll find that true happiness
Is found in love, and not hurt.
Lightning in a Bottle
Several summers ago I took a bus to Portland from my hometown.
Of course, the word ‘bus’ evokes a picture of the many different types of people riding it: the old lady with her oversized handbag, the young teenagers laughing too loudly, etc. This particular bus trip took place overnight. At dawn, we approached Portland.
As the sun made strides through the open window, the man across from me - not directly across but one seat up and over - started speaking to me. He turned his whole body around in order to do this. He wanted to know where I got my hat. He seemed nervous, in the category of bus-goer who usually keeps their head down, out of sight. The kind of person you will never really know.
After many volleys back and forth of conversation later, I ask about a tattoo peeking out from under his sweatshirt sleeve.
What is that of?
He lifts the sleeve to reveal a chemical structure. This, he said, is dopamine.
The hairs on my arm stood up. I felt that this man had experienced a great amount of pain, as cavalier as he may seem. I too had left permanent scars on myself from pain. But this? This wasn’t a scar: it was like lightning in a bottle. It was magnificent.
He traced the structure delicately and explained each piece: how it all fit together. How it worked. How and why we feel happiness.
Structurally, we all have this neurotransmitter.
In my short life, I had never seen this. It seemed brazen. A testament to the pursuit of happiness, a statement. Not: I will be happy. No.
I WILL know happiness.
I don’t remember anything else about him, or that bus ride. I also don’t need to go further, and describe the nights I spent up after that, researching how to also have that tattooed onto my own arm. The rawness of that chemistry - that’s real happiness. It doesn’t get more real than chemical bonds, nerve cells and the communication of pleasure.
Who knows what that man went through to have that permanently be a part of his arm. Whenever he looks down, for the rest of this life - boom. Happiness. Outstretched arm to greet someone? May they also know happiness.
I certainly felt it.
It seemed deep. And to this day, when I think of happiness, I think of sunshine and ink, both illuminated and scientific.
The quest for happiness
I recently heard a quote ‘The quest for happiness ends within yourself.’ Does it really? Does it not get impacted by say, a nasty spouse, a manipulative boss, a work-obsessed parent, a sick sibling? Can I be happy when surrounded by unhappiness? While I’m not a fan of hymns, ‘No man is an island’ isn’t exactly untrue.
And yet, I have come to believe that one can be happy only when one is determined to be. Happiness isn’t meant to be. As the prompt introduction says, its easy to be unhappy. But make just one resolve – Nobody but I can dictate my happiness. And see where it takes you!
Nobody’s mood can affect mine, nobody’s bad behaviour can determine mine. Not others but I will determine if I am loved. I will decide how my day will go, how happy I am at the end of the day. And never mind the world.
And yes, my happiness also includes an ice-cream in the heat (and in the cold), chocolate preferably with a liquid centre and a good book.
on waves rolling
colorful leaves fluttering
dumb joke telling
my ears listening
your fingers strumming
I went outside to smell the roses today. The soft petals delicately kissing my fingers as I moved along them. It was the kindest feeling in the world. Above me millions of miles away, the warmth of the ball of energy that we call the sun touching my neck. I was grateful to be there today, to expierence what I didn’t yesterday. Today was a new day and each day has new beginnings, this is what happiness is. The chance to be better today than yesterday.
Happiness for me is a beautiful sunny day,
clouds rest in the sky
and the birds sing about all that is good.
happiness for me is talking to my best friend
who is my anchor,
who is my guiding light,
who keeps me sane in these crazy times.
happiness for me is playing with my bird
who always knows how to make me laugh,
who loves to cuddle against my chin,
who is my emotional support.
happiness for me is playing my saxophone,
when im in the zone, everything is second nature to me.
happiness for me is figure skating,
feeling each edge as I work on my skills,
feeling myself glide across the ice.
Happiness be smol but grait
Happiness is conjured by the little things that gather into moments. Those little things, for me, are often in the forms of food and words.
Food is one of the highest natural pleasures... along with one I’m not going to specifically mention (;
I like to cook food, eat food, serve food, think about food, talk about food and write about food. I. Like. Food. Nothing more to it.
Words are almost my literal best friend... we even have the occasional fights. I like to write. I like to think. I like to talk. I like to hear myself talk(funny thing is I don’t like my voice). I like to sing(I dropped out of choir 2 years ago. I do not regret.) I do not like word games though(partly because I’m terrible at them).
And when you talk or listen to audiobooks while making food, or eat food when you’re supposed to be talking, that my friends, is the reason my parents think I am antisocial.
Thank you, thank you. *bows* *waves*
Yes, it’s hard to reach. For some, nearly impossible. But have you ever splayed yourself out beneath a window pouring sunlight? Have you ever had a dog come to you in a room full of people? Have you ever found the perfect word, the perfect song or story or image, to articulate completely what you’re feeling? Has anyone ever gifted you with their touch, maybe a smiling child or shy date, leaving a gentle buzz where they did? Have you ever smelled the scent of flowers? Ever tasted other cultures from a food cart? Ever been told you are loved, seen, appreciated, accepted? If yes, congratulations—you’ve known happiness. If not—set your phone down, sit up straight, and think. Sometimes memories can be covered in dust or stacked forgotten in boxes, but given only a minute, your heart and mind will recover them. And in the meantime, understand that happiness isn’t the End Goal: it’s that temporary flicker, that fleeting feeling we’re all blessed with from time to time, and it occurs in the small moments, the kind gestures, the sweet words falling from the mouths of others. Whoever turned happiness into something that must be scratched off a to-do list? I don’t know, but I do know this: it’s never too late to reclaim it. So tell me; what is happiness to you?