What is Happiness?


Happiness blooms and happiness withers. Happiness will grow and then fade. Happiness can be the high on a wave from the ocean of emotions within us. For years of my life, I felt as though I was in a perpetual state of darkness from my family suffering addiction and other negative situations going on at the same time. I believed, at one point, I would never be able to answer the question: What is happiness?

Before I began praying with God/Higher Power instead of to God/Higher Power, and before I rekindled my faith at all, I couldn’t even tell you what happiness was. As I started to rekindle my faith, I began began believing that if you think positive, then positivity will come. I began to believe that if I was happy all the time, then there will be no room for sorrow. I suffered years of straight sorrow, so why not experience years of straight happiness?

Of course I was wrong in thinking this.

I attempted every prayer I knew from the Bible, attempted the Law of Attraction and so on. Happiness will come then go. Sorrow will rise but then will fall. At one point I asked God, “What is the purpose of happiness?”

Then it dawned on me: Happiness is a flower that blooms in the garden of my heart.

Image by Helena Sushitskaya from Pixabay

The Garden of the Heart

In today’s world; however, we are riddled with suicide, depression, anxiety, and sorrow. No matter how much money we throw at the problem of these negative emotions, they never seem to fully go away for someone to find peace.

This is where I find, in all our hearts, that we have a garden that we plant seeds in our hearts and our actions and our choices decide how they grow and what grows. I call this the Garden of the Heart.

In a garden in your backyard or window sill, you may plant your tomatoes, your roses, and your perennials; however, weeds will always find a way to grow and pests will always try and eat at what you plant – insects, rodents, and what have you. To keep your garden alive and healthy, you have to tend to it with removing the weeds, using eco-friendly ways to keep pests at bay, and of course keep the dog from trampling all over trying to bury their bone.

The Garden of the Heart is exactly the same as your garden in the backyard, but the seeds are not tomatoes or roses, the seeds are the emotions and feelings you wish to grow.

When I started thinking this way, I looked deep within myself to see what I truly had in me. After years of sorrow, all I could see and feel was sorrow, anger, discontent growing within me. I couldn’t think of where my happiness was in my heart, in my garden. Of course, with understanding my connection to the Higher power, I prayed and said to myself, “I will make room for happiness and take out these weeds of sorrow, anger, and discontent.”

This is where I had to find the seed of happiness to plant so I can remove the sorrow in my heart. I looked back in my memories and remembered a song that played at my elementary school. For the life of me, I can’t remember what the lyrics were, but the melody in my head made me remember days of when I was nine years old, climbing trees in the church courtyard while my mom raked the leaves. I was content in climbing the tree and my mom was content in raking the leaves.

There it was: the feeling of content was the seed I needed to plant in my heart.

While that memory was old, it allowed me to think back on my thought of think positive, then positivity will come: what is positive in my life, currently? I looked at my surroundings where my family member returned home from rehab, my parents could breathe a sigh of relief, and I could see joy when my family member came home. After years of sorrow, I realized that I am content with my family, no matter what.

Keeping this as a seed, planting it in my heart, and watering it with my prayers with God/the Higher Power, enjoying walks with my dog, and living in the moment of those times of content, I was able to grow this seed to overshadow the weeds of sorrow, anger, and discomfort within me.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The Seed of Content

In the English dictionary, when using content as an adjective, content can mean a state of peaceful happiness or satisfied with a certain level of achievement, good fortune, etc. With the seed of content, I am using the second definition to signify a seed of content. The seed may be a memory of when you were content and you find ways to have it grow in you now, or you use this seed to find what makes you content now. For me, I was able to find content when seeing my family was in a better place after our family member’s addiction – this provided the level of achievement needed for me, and my family, to say, “We made it through, let’s bring more happy days.”

In my view, happiness is a flower that grows from the seed of content. In the English dictionary, happiness can mean feeling and showing satisfaction or content. With content being the satisfaction of a level of achievement, and with happiness being the the flower that blooms/shows this satisfaction or content, then happiness can always grow.

There are days where I still feel sorrow/sadness when I look back to my family member’s days of addiction. At times, I would wonder if he would ever revert back and the there was always that what if where they wouldn’t have recovered. I am thankful that my prayers with God/The Higher Power has aided in my family’s time of need and I am thankful my family was able to use that victory over addiction to be a day where we can regrow content and continually blossom our flowers of happiness.

There are days where the happiness may wither away as another situation comes up that grows the weeds of sorrow, but the seed of content in my life has already grown large enough where the it is now a tree of content. In the garden of my heart, weeds will never take down a tree. The flowers of my happiness will still bloom another day.

What are your thoughts on happiness?

Do you believe happiness is something to be grown, or something to be acquired?

What are your thoughts on the garden of the heart?

Be well and be safe & healthy!

Papa Hannah.

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