We are approaching the traditional time of year when we give gratitude for what we have in our lives. Given the last couple of years, you might be forgiven for thinking, “What do I have to be grateful for? How can I be happy as the pandemic continues to rage?”
In a chaotic, consumer-driven, unpredictable world of our times, it seems that in order to be “happy” we always have to make it about me: How much do I have? How can you guarantee that I will be happy? Don’t let other’s misfortunate affect me…
When I made the huge move across oceans to the United States fifteen years ago, I literally just brought clothes, books, photos, and a few mementos of home. I took a huge leap of faith to find “happiness” on another continent. Unfortunately, that “happiness” did not work out the way I had hoped. But during that brief period of my life when I made that move, made that leap, I felt freer than I had ever felt before. I wasn’t burdened with much of what consumerism markets as “necessary” to be happy. I went through a lot of turmoil, but I believe I’m back on that path to my own version of “happiness” again. How?
Make a list of just five things that you need to live in this moment right now. What do you have? My list contains food, shelter, clothing, water, and a garden (for my mental and physical health). This might look different for you, but I am sure it comes down to some sort of variation of my list. If it doesn’t, you might want to ask yourself, “Are you truly happy in your “now” moment?” Or could you unburden some stuff – physically and mentally? Would this make you happier?
The “secret to happiness” is your own journey to create. Don’t let someone else dictate that for you.
To close: Do you have a roof over your head tonight, food in your belly, water on your lips, a blanket keeping you warm, and space to keep you healthy mentally?
The rest is just icing on the cake. And not all cakes need icing to be a tiny slice of heaven.
With gratitude for reading,
Last Updated on November 9, 2021