What is happiness?

My therapist asked me this question about happiness two weeks ago, and I have yet to truly answer.

Truth is… I don’t know what happiness is outside of the Merriam-Webster definition. It’s not something that I’ve truly considered. Happiness is something that I’ve thought about, then immediately said to myself that it’s outside of my reach.

  • What is happiness to me?
  • What will I do to change the things in my life?
  • What makes my happiness less important than others?
  • What is my dream?

When I told my therapist that I didn’t know how to answer this question, she responded:

You are the one who has so much going for herself, but you don’t feel empowered by your position.

Dr. Keshia Keith

And it’s so true! I recently told a good friend, that I have been “dumbing” myself down to make others feel comfortable. When I think about my life, I notice a trend of always putting others before myself. I always think about how others will be affected, or how they would feel about me if I said, “Fuck this! I’m going to do something for me!” I have to start putting myself first. It is my nature to encourage others to follow their dreams, but I struggle with following my own. I struggle with opening up and showing the real me. I have so much potential to be great, but I’m choosing to be mediocre. I’m choosing to keep myself down, instead of forcing others to keep up.

With this is mind, I was able to somewhat answer the questions. Here is what I came up with:

What is happiness to me?

Happiness is living! Having breath in my body. Focusing on the good in my life and not the negative. Being positive and giving my all. Not being resentful of those around me, but appreciating their progress and positivity. Celebrating successes. Striving to be the best version of me.

What will I do to change things in my life?

In order to change things in my life, I need to change my way of thinking about life. I have to stop being so negative, and take time to think about my actions. Write more. Set daily affirmations as a remind to find the positive in all things, and think about my feelings.

What makes my happiness less important than others?

In reality, my happiness is not less important than anyone else’s. I am in control of my own happiness. It is not something that I should look for in other people, but something that I should find within myself.

If I cannot create my own happiness, then how can I expect others to make me happy?

What is my dream?

My dream is to have a job that I love. To have a home that I love, and a happy and healthy relationship with someone. To have my children grow up to be successful in life. What is your dream?

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3 comments

  1. Years ago, I was in this same position of putting others before myself constantly…I wasn’t even thinking about the things that could or would make me happy because I was too busy worried about making everyone else happy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting yourself before other people. Something that I noticed is that when we become mothers, it tends to become like second nature to nurture and care for others like we do our children because it’s a part of our everyday lives. So when it comes to doing the same for others, we simply can’t help it sometimes, especially if we are caring, loving, and nurturing people. I won’t say that I’ve completely reached happiness because there are so many things I’m working on but worrying about other people outside of my immediate family is something that I absolutely had to put a limit on.

    I think you need to work on doing things that make you happy, even if it’s just small things during the day that bring you peace and happiness. Slowly work toward doing more things for yourself during the day after that. I can promise you that it helps.

    1. This is great advice! I’ve been so much time trying to remember the things that make me happy, but I keep coming up short. Everything that I do is centered around my kids having the best life possible. I’m learning that I still have to make time for myself.

  2. It took me years to realize that my happiness depends pretty much on me alone. I can’t always control the things that happen around or to me. But I can always control my reaction to them. Once I realized that I realized the sky the limit when it comes to being happy. I can just choose to let go and move on when bad things happen instead of dwelling. I learned it was the little things in life that make life worth living, not the big things. Taking care of yourself is key. You can’t take care of anyone else without first taking care of yourself.

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