A day would not pass without my husband asking me: Are you happy? It is a habit he started when we were dating and continued until he died.
Invariably, I would answer yes, but I would pause before responding for I did not wish to pay lip service to such an essential question for I felt I would do myself a disservice.
Now, as I pose that question to myself, I tear up before responding. What is different? I would have to say what shifted is my inner harmony. What needed restoring. Not much else changed, aside, of course, from no longer being able to share my life with him. Although, I knew that! I knew it early on too, as a matter of fact when we started dating for I had the realization that I needed to be with him until he passed. I never dwelt on that fact. However, I savored every moment of our lives. You can say that I enjoyed the journey, not the destination, intuitively living the principles of happiness.
What are those principles? The primary one is attitudinal. Choose to see everything through the eyes of love. No matter what happens, no matter what befalls you, everything happens FOR you. Everything is a blessing. Even if you have to look hard for the silver lining, it is there. Know who you are. Sincerely come to know who you are and feel right about it. Self-acceptance is essential. Love yourself! Do not judge yourself or others. You are (everyone is) perfect. You cannot be otherwise. After all, you are an expression of God. Recognize that you are pure love by igniting and fanning the Divine Spark within you. Begin from that place, from your heart. Elect to savor every moment joyously. It is a choice.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
If you happen to lose your equanimity, as I did, you can restore it by pausing and taking deep breaths, stilling your mind, and carving out time for introspection. You will find that those tools suffice to regain your inner peace to surrender and allow to what is, preparing you for the new entering your life. By intending to view things differently, you change your mood for perception colors how you see everything.
“Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.” —Marcus Aurelius
The last principle is gratitude. There is no quicker way to shift your emotions than through thankfulness and appreciation. Be grateful for the contrast which you experience in your life. Without it, you would not grow. You would stagnate. Contrast sparks desire by showing you what you do not like and what to shift. When you begin to give thanks for it, you see through the eyes of love.
We have come full circle. Love is the root of happiness–the beginning and the end–for oneself, for one’s spouse, children, family, and for our fellow man. Without it, we are hard-pressed to express the joy within us.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius
ARE YOU HAPPY?