I was asked this question by a therapist and didn’t have an answer. Me at a lost for words is rare, but I had not one. It bothered me because in my mind, this should not be a hard question.
I immediately went into deep thought. Why was it so hard for me to describe what happiness looked like? Was it because I’d never really thought about it, or was it because I had never truly experienced what I defined as happiness. My reason had many moving parts.
Synonyms on thesaurus.com for happiness;
My life had become such a tornado of unhappiness that what I’d previously defined as happy was nonexistent. Bliss, enjoyment , hopefulness? It was giving more hopelessness than hopefulness.
In my opinion, happiness was/is a choice and I felt like life had robbed of my choice (the shit we convince ourselves of). My glass had become half empty. My happiness defined had become not getting my lights cut off. Going a few hours without worry. My “happiness” had become rooted in survival and I’d never really thought about it before being asked that question. I honestly didn’t recognize what happiness looked like anymore. Happiness and I had become strangers
Now let’s look at the definition and synonyms of survival.
According to dictionary.com survival is; the act or fact of surviving, especially under adverse or unusual circumstances.
Synonyms of survival;
Now, this led to an even deeper level of thinking because thats what I do.
I began to think of why my happiness was rooted in survival and where that came from, then it hit me. What I’m about to say may ruffle some feathers, but this is my truth. It came from my religious upbringing.
My entire life, I can’t remember ever being taught about being happy in the church scene, or space to be happy. I was taught to be grateful for any/everything, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it was always saturated in bare minimum thinking or to be happy meant to be grateful in spite of and not a state of being.
Another disclaimer, this solely relates to my experience! I come in peace and have no desire to tussle.
Yes, I now know happiness is a state of mind and not just things, but even the state of being happy was not taught. As it related to things, to be rich, having material things was always frowned upon. I was taught that one must live a strict life governed by rules that most humans struggled to commit to which led to severe consequences. I was taught to foster toxic relationships because of who people were and so many other things, and guess where my definition of happiness fell? On the opposite side of all those things. This resulted in a whole lot of unlearning the deprogramming.
As I’ve matured, I’ve learned that happiness is a mindset. As previously stated, I do believe it’s a choice, but not always an easy one. I believe happiness is dependent on perspective and I wholeheartedly believe happiness is my responsibility. Bottom line, happiness looks different for each and every person.
So where did I land with what happiness looks like for me?
Happiness for me looks like freedom. Freedom to live as I choose. Happiness looks like entrepreneurship. Being able to work for myself. To not have to report to anyone. Happiness looks like pursuing my passion daily. Happiness looks like healthy friendships. Happiness looks like shopping sprees and travel (judge ye not lol). Happiness looks like walking red carpets, being on tv screens, speaking engagements etc. Remember, I’m talking about what it looks like for me. Happiness looks like healthy love. Happiness looks like being healthy. Happiness is knowing that I’m worthy. Happiness is knowing that I deserve all of these things.
What does happiness look like for you? I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments.
Until next time…🦋