Happiness is a State of Being – My Lesson from 2020
The roller coaster that was 2020 brought me to a realization.
Happiness can be a state of being.
I believe if you can step back and look at your present life and think, “Yeah, I’m happy,” then you are in a state of being happy.
Being in a state of happiness is like always having solid ground to walk on. It is the constant background hum of your existence. It sets the stage for what ever happens.
To be clear, I think it is impossible for someone to be happy all the time. We all experience a range of emotions from happy to sad to angry. That emotion may last an hour, a day, a week, or even a year (hello, 2020!)
How we deal with those moments depends on how we feel about who we are and where we are in life. For example, let’s say you are in a state of happiness. You are walking through your day with a subtle happy hum in your energy. Then you answer the phone and receive bad news. You react with grief, anger, shock or whatever emotion comes up.
But the floor doesn’t give way beneath you. You do not crumble to the ground. This is because you still have this foundation of happiness. You are in a solid ship riding the waves of the bad storm of news you just received.
Let’s look at this same scenario without the foundation of a state of happiness. You are walking through your day and your energy isn’t quite right. You are slightly irritated, but you don’t know why. There are things you want to do, things you want to be, but you can’t do them. Then you answer the phone and receive bad news. It’s like a mud slide suddenly hits you. It’s more yuck on top of the yuck you were already feeling. You don’t have a safe place to land when the storm arrives, and you are on a fragile ship.
This was my big lesson of 2020. I was more fortunate than others this year. I’m grateful for that. And I’ll knock on wood now because the year isn’t over yet! I did have some stressful times. Being self-employed during a pandemic isn’t for the faint of heart. Having a husband who owns his own retail business during a pandemic isn’t for the faint of heart. We had a family member pass away and we lost a friend due to irreconcilable differences. I wasn’t all smiles like Annie singing, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow,” when these things happened. There was stress and sadness and anger. My husband and I had our grumpy moments together.
But I will not look back on 2020 as the year that broke me. Not even close.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we “went to the mattresses,” as they say in the Godfather. Suddenly I had no business and my husband’s business was greatly restricted. So. we did what we could. And that set the stage for the rest of the year.
I think if I had been in a bad place emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually, I would have slipped into a depression. I would have spent those first 6 weeks of the lockdown sitting on the couch watching Netflix. And who knows how the rest of the year would have fared for me.
Through all the ups and downs of 2020, I remained stable. I didn’t find myself in a depression. I still looked at each day and thought, “What can I do now?”
What can I do now? Looking back on the year, I realize my years of self-retrospection, growth, and spiritual growth paid off. I was healthy enough mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to handle what came. And when I hit patches that were rougher than others, I had tools to help me get through. Meditation, Journaling, Yoga and Walking were the tools I used to help maintain my state of happiness when the extremely bad storms came.
There was a time in my life that I did not have a foundation of happiness. I look at the road I have traveled and see how I got to Heather of the now. I believe with all my heart that anyone can travel this path and find their state of happiness.
I’ve seen other people do it, too. Some with my help, some on their own. This idea of a state of happiness being the foundation of your life is a real thing. I’m sure there are other names for it, but this is how I see it.
So, yes, I have been talking a lot about happiness. After this year of craziness, I have a stronger belief in the tools I use to maintain mental, emotional and spiritual well being than I ever have before. And I want to share them.
I believe anyone can find this state of happiness. I believe anyone can find love and compassion for themselves that will help them ride the waves of life like a professional surfer. If you are someone living in a state of happiness, you believe me and are nodding your head in agreement.
I see people around me struggling and I want to help. Even if I can just help them realize that it is POSSIBLE to have a happier life, I think that would make a difference.
So, here I am. If you are one of the millions of people struggling, there is hope. You can move forward to a happier place. You can learn to love yourself and love your life. I’ve done it. I’ve seen others do it. You can do it, too. Please believe there is a path, and you can walk it. You are not stuck. Life is not hopeless. There is a way.
Start by asking yourself, “What can I do today?”
There is always a way.