Feeling Content Vs. Happiness…..

I had a very interesting conversation with my friend the other day regarding “Happiness.” The conversation didn’t start off about happiness, it was about negativity. I have been speaking on some of the negative things that have been affecting my moods lately. I tend to be a positive thinking person and I try not to complain, especially about “small” stuff, but I’ve been going off lately about some things that I feel are unjust….That I feel should have changed by now, things I’ve tried to change, things I’ve put effort into in the past hoping would’ve changed by now…People in my life who I consider to be loved ones, that are not behaving the way I expect them to towards me. I’ve been feeling frustrated and my friend has patiently listened. She told me that I become angry when I speak about these things, and that I’m letting it affect me and affect my life. I agreed with her on that, but I felt misunderstood. She said to me that, she’s “Never seen me happy,” which I took offence to, because I consider myself a fairly happy person. I’m not a complainer or a negative person by any means, nor do I walk around frowning all day. The comment my friend made bothered me, but there was a deeper reason why. I started to think about how I view true happiness in life, and the way I may be perceived by others. My happiness may come off different because I’m more “content” than happy, and I believe that happiness is a by-product of being content. So no matter how I feel, my emotions good or bad , I still feel balanced. Not broken, pretty content,  A-Okay…..

I looked up the definition of “Content” and the word happiness was included in one example of the definition. I swear that this is the first time that I have ever looked up the definition of that word. I am pleased that the definition included “happiness,” because it helps prove that what I’m about to say, is logical. I hold the words my mother (RIP) said to me years ago before I moved out on my own. I was complaining to her about something, telling her how tired I was of feeling this way and that I just wanted to be “happy” and she told me that I should strive to be “content” instead. She explained that trying to be “happy” all time may leave me feeling disappointed more often when things don’t go my way. At first I thought, hmmm, isn’t that kind of negative? Why wouldn’t you just try to be happy? Then it really sank in. I understood her point; Striving for constant “happiness” is unrealistic because it is impossible to feel happy in very instance in life. Practising how to be content can help you appreciate life more because your expectations aren’t always set so high for perfection. This philosophy has helped me navigate my adult years much easier. For example, I don’t feel the need to purchase items at the mall in order to feel better about myself, or “happier” on a gloomy day. When I hear people say that they shop for “therapy” I think to myself, you must have a lot of money to waste! lol

I have more examples to give, I feel that many people mistake “happiness” for something that it truly isn’t. So they are left trying to fill that void, acting ungrateful and  constantly looking for happiness in all the wrong places…..

 

I’m going to touch more on this topic in another blog, stay tuned…..

Love&Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

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