the big question you should ask

Some of my earliest reading experiences were somewhat clandestine.  I would creep upstairs to find the pile of books my mother had just taken for that month from her book club. I’d pick up the juiciest one, and then during the month, work my way through most of them. Some of these books were definitely not for my age and I loved it! reading

Later I had one of those teachers – you know like Robin Williams in ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ – the mythological teacher that changes your life? Well I was blessed the day Niall MacMonagle walked into my classroom – he was young, passionate and incredibly generous.  He also knew very quickly to recognize the readers and started bringing in books to feed our curiosity and passion for books.

And so the romance began!

I’ve read several books every month, ever since.

Last weekend, my son was reading ‘The Giver’ – he told me it made him cry, there were some beautiful moments.  I read it that day.

We sat down to lunch the day after and I mentioned the book and we started talking about the utopian world that was created there.

We talked about the price of safety, order and predictability.  We spoke of a world where though you talked about feelings, you can not feel.  Though you describe beauty, you cannot see color.  Though you have dreams and desires, you take medication to reduce the danger of actually experiencing them.

And then he asked me the question that was on his mind over the weeks that he had spent reading the book and discussing it in class.

So, what is happiness?  And what truly makes us happy?

Should we play safe and protect ourselves.  Or do we take the chance of losing control and try to experience everything?

The million dollar question, what is happiness?

Smarter people have answered this question far more eloquently than me….and so many books have been written to try to figure this out.

And though it’s so intensely personal, I’d like to take a shot.

Happiness – it’s seeing life in full color and feeling all there is to feel.  From the depths of pain, anxiety and fear to the peaks of joy, jubilation and celebration.

It’s knowing you are loved and that there is nothing more powerful than allowing your natural state of love to emerge.

It’s taking responsibility for your state and working to create happiness every day and every moment.

It’s being intentional about what you allow in to your body, your mind and your environment.

It’s being grateful for all that is, and all that is not.

It’s about acknowledging yourself and others for who you are, right now.

It’s about the story you believe and the story you tell.

It’s about the story you are.

What is it for you?

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2 comments on “the big question you should ask

  1. Happiness for me is being authentic. It’s feeling all my feelings, being grateful for all I have, and being here in each moment of my life.

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