All Articles Tagged "joy"
Life is short. Live each day to the fullest. Life isn’t about how many breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away. We’re all familiar with these cliché, but loaded, phrases. They speak volumes to how we should model our lives, even if we hear them more times than we’d like to and often times when we’re not in the mood to hear them.
Up until recently, these phrases were simply mottos, words that I spewed out when I’d decided abruptly to try and get my sh*t together for the umpteenth time. But after having to make some serious decisions about my life as of late, these words have become so much more. After meditating, praying, and reading tons of self-help books, I’ve begun implementing these things in my life to make the rest of my life, the best of my life. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.
I learned one lie that I was taught was that “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.” Now, I’m all for trying to get clarification on things that have escaped your conventional wisdom, and wanting to know more. However, the adage rings false to me when someone approaches me with the: “Why are you so happy all the time?” question. The reason why I get so annoyed is for a myriad of reasons, but I’ll break it down to two.
One, how in the crap am I supposed to answer that? “Because.” “I don’t know, I just am?” “Um… I don’t know, why are you so bitter all of the time?” It’s a question setting you up for failure, because no answer is going to be satisfactory to the person with the gall to ask you. In fact, they’re not trying to get an answer from you, which leads to the next point.
The main issue isn’t the fact that these people are being drawn to my sunny demeanor and want to know the secrets of how to have a perma-smile on their face all day. (Which isn’t as great as you might think. My cheeks are usually a little sore at night). These people aren’t asking because they’re tired of being unhappy and they want to fix their thinking to be more optimistic. Most of the time when people are asking me this, it’s usually with a judgmental and condescending tone. They ask as if there’s something wrong with me for wanting to express my joy. Then, the more bold ones will try to “fix” me, with suggestions of personality adjustments.
Like, really? What is wrong with some people? Do you know what they remind me of? The Dementors from the Harry Potter series. These people are so uncomfortable around happiness and joy that they try to suck all it from you until you’re a sad, soulless being, just like them. In all honesty, most people aren’t worth the headaches that they give you. (See, I’m not joyful all the time.)
I never understood why people would want to make others feel guilty for happiness. Or make you feel rude for expressing it. Now, I’m not saying to go to funerals, hospices, or accident scenes and start singing “Joyful Joyful,” but if you’re feeling a certain way, express it. If you’re happy, show it.
Life is filled with multitudes of people, and each one is going to be filled with their own type of emotion. People might not always appreciate your happiness, but their side-eyes are worth it. The worst type of way to feel is the emotions that come with neglecting your own feelings, and suppressing them. That feeling is usually accompanied by allowing someone else’s sensibility of how you should behave to affect your own.
Let’s be honest about society right now, so many people can be comfortable in dysfunction, but uncomfortable around happiness. How people can make you feel as though there’s something wrong with you for enjoying more of your days, than the ones you discount is beyond me, but it happens.
I remember the days of feeling guilty for being so happy, and apologizing for it. But then, something hit me. STOP! Stop apologizing for it! You wanna know why? Because I was so unhappy for so many years. Trying to decipher the pain from my past, and the resulting consequences of my present and being so afraid of the future that my early years were a shroud of pain. Then one day, a glimmer of true joy came, and I never wanted to let it go. I embraced it, and loved it.
So now, when people ask me why I’m so happy, I stopped apologizing for it. Who cares if it makes them uncomfortable? Now, I just say, “because I earned it.” Every smile, every laugh, anytime that I was bold enough to click my heels in the air (it’s happened), I deserved, and I still do.
Dear reader, realize that if you’re happy, you earned that. Never let anyone make you feel guilty for it. Get over trying to figure out a way to justify your happiness so it makes sense to other people, because until they get to the point where they can truly embrace joy, you’ll never make sense to them anyway.
Kendra Koger is all smiles and the occasional tweeter @kkoger.
When you go to sleep at night, the way you feel about yourself isn’t determined by what happened that day — what other people said or did — but rather how you responded to the day’s events. Here are 14 little daily adjustments you can make to be a little prouder of who you are.
Relationships are designed for two people to get to know each other, to add value to each other’s lives, to fulfill a distinct purpose, and to bring an equal amount of happiness to each other. Many times, when women are in a relationship, they have the tendency to act and do things differently. For instance, when a woman is in a fresh relationship, she tends to clean her home more (some women, not all), she buys more lingerie, she makes home cooked meals or at least tries to, so on and so on. Not only does a woman’s habits change, but her attitude changes. She seems happier and friendlier, and there is a certain glow about her that wasn’t there before her newfound relationship. Why is that? Why is it that so many women are the best person they are, or only their happiest, when they are in a relationship? Why is it that some women can only be happy when they have a man in their lives?
There are many opinions and answers to these questions, but the one reason many women are only happy when they are in a relationship is because they are not happy with who they are and they believe they can only be happy and complete when they are with a man. And the reason many women are not happy with who they are is because they don’t know who they are as an individual, and they have not found their purpose. Another reason women are only happy when they are in a relationship is because they are looking at other relationships from face value; meaning they are looking at the happy pictures and the happy couples who are out enjoying each other, and not looking into the relationship and the work that goes into it. What many women often fail to realize is that a happy man as an individual wants to be with a woman who is happy before he comes into her life so she can add a unique sense of happiness to his own life. There are a number of women who believe they can only experience a true sense of happiness when they are in a relationship and this is just not true.
Why isn’t this true? Because happiness and joy come from within and that happiness and joy is discovered when it is searched for and fulfilled by an individual who is seeking it within who they are and were created to be. Now don’t get me wrong, relationships are great, and they do and should bring about a new sense of happiness for both people; but the truth of the matter is that a relationship is not the end all, be all of happiness. They take work from two whole and happy individuals who know their worth and know what makes them happy before they commit to each other. If one person in a relationship depends solely on the other person for happiness, then that can add pressure to the other person in the relationship and in turn can make them unhappy. I’ve witnessed a number of women who were happy being who they were, only to change into a different woman when they were in a relationship to make the men they were with happy so they would stay with them.
This was absolutely unbelievable because I always thought that these women were strong-willed and happy with who they were and being single…that is until a man came around. I couldn’t understand why they changed several things about them for the sake of saving a relationship that may or may not end in marriage. And then I figured it out. They changed to please the men they were with because they feared being alone, and rather than standing firm on who they were and loving themselves, they changed in an instant. Unfortunately, many unmarried women live with the fear of being alone for the remainder of their lives. They fear they will never experience true love, or have children, or get married; but what I wish a lot of unmarried women would realize is that there is nothing wrong with being single!
Being single has its advantages and disadvantages, just the same as being married or being involved in a committed relationship does. Both aspects have their ups and downs, but at least when you’re single you can be who you are and spend more time learning who you are before you jump into a relationship and turn into someone else, to please someone else. As I stated previously, relationships are great, and they do and should bring new happiness into one’s life…but at what cost?
How many of you have ever compromised yourself for a relationship? Do you find your happiness in a man and a man only? Are you happiest when you’re in or out of a relationship?
Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
Some lessons don’t come to you immediately—some come to you as a memory or a sudden understanding of an event from your past. Often, as you progress toward better relationships, things become clear to you about a relationship that took place five years ago! So, while not all of these things happened to me firsthand this year (I don’t get around the block that much!), some event or person came into my life in 2012 that shed light on events from my past, and finally showed me the lesson from experiences which until recently were just meaningless pain. Maybe as you go into the new year, you too can turn some of your painful memories into helpful lessons.
Some people are born with an optimistic attitude. Well, actually we all are; but some have learned the art of maintaining this happiness or optimism after departing the innocent stage of childhood. As growing women, many of us experience the same ups and downs of life. When it comes to the problems that many of us face, it’s pretty much the same script only a different cast. While some women’s problems are more severe than others, we all have our happiness tested. As failed relationships, disappointments, unachieved dreams, and a variety of other things creep into our lives, our happiness seems to creep out.
As cliché as it sounds, happiness is a state of mind. I’m sure when you’re feeling less than excited about circumstances in your life this is probably the last thing you want to hear. It’s almost worse than the generic consoling phrase, ‘it will get better.’
Still, we all know that eventually circumstances do get better, hearts are healed, and debt paid off; but it can become difficult to remain optimistic and exude happiness in the midst of these aggravating situations. While every day or every situation may not make you happy an overall happy existence is attainable, if you work at it.
So before you pour countless hours into unfulfilling jobs, subpar relationships, or other can-wait situations, try these 7 tips to find and maintain your happiness.
When you smile or laugh, the brain produces endorphins, which when released help relieve physical and emotional stress, and thus, create a feeling of well-being. Since stress can contribute to a number of physical ailments, smiling more often can enhance your health. So, go ahead and flash those pearly whites! It will only help you.