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So, What is Happiness?

On-a-LimbSo, Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what the real meaning of happiness is. When you look it up online (because everything you read on the Internet is true) it says “Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”

This caused me to ponder the complexity of this description. I agree that Happiness is a mental or emotional state of being. The interesting part of this description (bare with my nerdom) is that the “being” part.

Being vs doing… You can try to do things that will instigate happiness within you, but in all honesty I’m pretty sure you don’t find actual happiness in those things. So, where do you find happiness? Obviously, you can’t find it in anybody’s pocket or in anything outside of you.  I’ve been in situations where everything came together perfectly to create a situation in which I should be jumping for joy, yet my emotions almost felt muffled… So, I’m pretty sure it’s not situations or other people that make you happy… It only stands to reason that happiness must be a choice… But what is it?

I wondered about this as I thought about the little insignificant moments in my life that I can remember vividly. Staring at an inchworm for a long time fascinated, studying the colors in an autumn leaf, laying under a star blanketed sky loosing myself in the infinity of it all… The small moments of curiosity and absolute love with the world around me.

I think as adults we tend to allow ourselves to get consumed by the everyday role we are supposed to play with the myriad of people in our lives, forgetting that natural ability to fall in love with everything around us… In other words, we know too much about how we think the world works, we know what an ugly tree looks like vs a beautiful tree, so we overlook the amazing miracle that the tree exists in the first place. I think the simplicity of happiness is to just allow yourself to understand that you ultimately don’t know anything and allow yourself to experience everything in life as if it was the first time you have ever experienced it. Imagine experiencing your first kiss over and over, or feeling the wind in your hair as if it was the first time, seeing the ocean for the very first time and taking in every single detail… So, for at least this moment in time in my life, I believe happiness is experiencing all of life, fully and not allowing yourself to take even one second for granted.

-Award Winning Contemporary Artist Rafi Perez

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