This is what generally comes to mind when the word happy is utilized in a sentence.
- Big Smiles
- Bounding Exuberance
We are conditioned to jump like well trained puppies after the definition of this word. It is the treat after a nicely performed sit.
And yet, happiness cannot be defined.
One person's nirvana is another's ice pick to the eye. Trying to comprehend someone else's happiness is the unending Wack a Mole game. It looks, sounds, smells, tastes and feels differently to each human depending on the history and emotions in the stew pot.
So stop trying?
Then who is right?
Expectations and judgments cloud discussions on the topic because we each NEED or believe happiness is linked not only to survival, but surviving well.
"If I'm happy then I've done something right."
"My life will not be wasted if it ends happily."
"If I make you happy then I've been successful."
Each song has a unique beat which is confounding to the outsider. No matter how patiently I wait the jump rope rhythm is nonsensical if it is not my own.
Listening sounds like a colossal waste of time.
"Listen with acceptance."
"Neutral is the answer to everything."
And harder than giving up sugar.
"Acceptance is sweeter."
My version of happy is complicated with a history of pain. Which means from the outside I may look worried, concerned, distant or pissed and actually be having a fucking great day. On the occasion I howl at the moon with joy, it is usually in silent harmony alone. This concept of happy isn't what the words above look like.
"You are unique."
But not right or wrong.
"There is no right or wrong way to happy."
"It is perception."
The happy dance is elusive, flitting in and out of circumstances or moments.
It is possible to be joyously ecstatic in the midst of hell. I know because I've done this mind bending double twist while sobbing.
Exquisite pain is exquisite.
"You are living if you are feeling."
Or freakishly masochistic.
Hanging onto happiness is impossible and yet seems tangible. Sparkle dust slips from my clenching palms while I gasp as the treasure is lost. Scarlett O'Hara understood this, reaching again and again for the insignificant threads beyond her fingertips.
"After all tomorrow is another day."