Am I happy?
Can anyone be happy in this?
Did I just lower the bar on happiness?
Honestly, I don’t even know what that word “happy” even means right now. It’s a much smaller, much simpler of a feeling than it used to be. Or maybe, the feeling (and thus the word) is the same and the path there has become truncated, refined, and uncomplicated. I don’t know. I’m still trying to work it out.
What I do know is that feeling happy used to require so much. The bar was high in theory, but returned so little in actuality. As in, book deals, big trips, unique experiences, rare achievements, huge gigs, pretty things. Theoretically, those would be the hold-out to happiness. The outcomes. The end games. I’ve known better, for some time, that those things don’t actually make you happy. I learned it in a big way during my book tour…that the happiest parts were the moments. The woman who told me what my book means. The line of hugs. Signing each individual book. The linkedIN message about a reader’s success story. The introduction to my hometown book event from my dad. And learning to really, feel and absorb them…the forgettable moments. And to consciously choose to weigh them…because the moments were what brought real joy rather than all the things society, culture, and this world promised.
Lowering the bar on happiness means that you get to experience those moments with the weighted joy they deserve. An unexpected butterfly brings you lasting joy. Flowers are truly delightful. The taste of fresh berries can perk up your afternoon. I’m learning to let it all really fill me up. Really move me. And to choose to see joy there instead of disregarding it as something small. Something small is the whole point. Something small is happiness. In ways that maybe it should have always been.
So, maybe the bar for happy hasn’t been lowered. Maybe it’s been here all along. And maybe we see it more clearly now, what was always there. Great suffering and multi-dimensional challenges often have a way of doing.
I hope you find gratitude for the little stuff right now. The good stuff. The simpler happy. Lowering the bar elevates everything you’re experiencing. Being fully moved to joy through the smallest of things is impossibly wonderful. And allowing that to happen is completely in your control. Mine too. Woman on xx.