On October 3rd, only a few days into my Happiness Project, before bedtime, I took a few moments to journal. I needed to jot some thoughts down. Reflections often swirl unchecked in my head at bedtime.
Boldly proclaiming I was working on a Happiness Project for the next year because, well, “I want to be ‘happier’ don’t’ you?”, could appear on the surface as being a bit shallow if not outright egocentric.
What had resonated with me so much about Gretchen Rubin’s book that I had now embarked on my own experiment?
- Did I NEED to be happier? I felt pretty happy already and knew I was very blessed.
- Did I HAVE to be happier?
- Wasn’t my life okay as it was?
- Why did this project strike such a deep chord within me?
It isn’t like I had a slew of extra time to commence something new, especially when considering the one-year commitment.
I opened my journal to a blank page and promptly started writing – without thinking – whatever came to mind. The following blog post is my unedited journal entry.
My Happiness Project Why
In my core, I don’t think this project is solely about happiness. What is happiness anyway? It means something different to just about anyone you ask.
I realize I am not so eager to be happy as I am to be content and at peace.
What I long for is being able to control that which is within my power to control. For example, cleaning and organizing, the food which passes my lips, the words which come out of my mouth, how I treat others, all the actions are within my control. On the other hand, I am letting go of the rest.
The Vicissitudes of Life
Most of life is what happens to us – or around us – and is outside of our control. While we are not able to change these things, we can change how we react to these events.
I do not want to be happy solely for selfish reasons – although there are undoubtedly self-absorbing reasons in the mix – after all, I do desire more happiness.
I also have broader reasons; I genuinely want to learn to be serene. I desire a peaceful and contented inner world.
The storms of life are sure to come – and some have already landed on my shores – I cannot avoid them all despite my hope to never feel pain again. Only the events of my own making can be circumvented.
While indeed many events cannot be prevented – nor predicted – I believe I can still find joy and peace in these moments. Others have done so while enduring circumstances much more dire and extreme than my own.
Serenity is not a state endowed to some and withdrawn from others. Tranquility is acquired through practice.
I can use my life energy to fight against what comes at me, or I can choose to surrender, not in defeat, but instead in the knowledge that nothing is permanent, and with the thought that I can transcend the external happenings into something else.
I believe there is a place of stillness and pure love inside of me and I must find it and then, inhabit it.
In becoming a source of happiness, peace, joy, contentment first within myself, I can then create that space for another. I think this is where real happiness lies.
Ultimately, I desire to know myself so well that I can be a source of calm for others whenever it is in my power to do so.
Nevertheless, I cannot be whom I am yet to become. This may sound trite yet, it is true.
I must first become so that I can be.
This is my Happiness Project why.