The art of happiness. The art of being happy.
What is happiness exactly?
Though I am getting closer to defining that, I can, with no uncertainty, tell you what it is NOT.
It's not money. Yes, money has its place. It can buy things and experiences. What it cannot buy is healing. Physical ailments can sometimes be healed, yes. But its not certain.
Money cannot also buy you peace. Especially if you war within yourself. You can see all the therapists you want, but if YOU don't do the work, it ain't gonna work.
You also can't buy healthy, well adjusted and happy children. Yes you can buy their education, their caregivers, their possessions to make others jealous, but can you buy them a kind soul? Can you buy the surety that they will grow to be happy, independent and functional adults??
Thanks to examples I have had, I can tell you for sure that the answer is no. Money cannot buy these things for another generation.
Time and a damn good example are the only ways to ensure these things. Even then its not 100% sure, but pretty darn close.
How about education? Can getting the MOST education one can get in a subject bring you lasting happiness? Again, thanks to the examples I knew first hand the answer to this is a definite NO. I knew someone with their doctorate in family social science have the biggest ego and deepest insecurity. This person displayed the most disrespectful and childish behavior, right out in the open. Unashamed, they went around picking fights with others. So no, happy people don't behave like that. They may have Dr. in front of their name but that's where the facade ends when put to the test.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I am talking about happiness. The deep down feeling of contentment that is there when everything else is gone away. In the stillness of the night, no one is watching, its just you and your thoughts, can you feel it?
So that is why I am explaining it here, because I was never taught this. My female family role models are STILL chasing these aforementioned avenues to find happiness. And let me tell ya, they are not happy people.
I think that I've discovered the art of happiness. For me.
I used to make art whilst solely drawing out the pain of my past. This only brought out more pain like a magicians handkerchief, it kept coming out, infinitely . All tied together.
So after much learning, reading, searching I decided to start by being grateful.
Now I make art. Yes it could be about sad things that happened to me. Yes it can be about the painful truth. But here is the difference- I am grateful for it all. I have realized how its made me into who I am. I wouldn't change a thing. This has made my art beautiful and made me feel beautiful inside. Just for myself.
So at night before bed, or when I wake up in the middle of the night, I find myself smiling and giving thanks for everything that has made me who I am. And giving thanks for all the beautiful things I have yet to experience. Its a very good feeling. This is how I find happiness.
Here is my first gratitude piece.... My art of happiness.
I have no plans to sell this piece yet. Its really quite a narrative of the time of my life that I have just entered. Where I can finally live out loud and to hell with all the people that will criticize me and my work. To hell with unfounded fears and anxiety that I used to have. I've got things to do. Important things.
I have a gift and I have a mission. Mark Twain said that there are two important days in your life, the day you were born and the day you find out why.
I believe that I have found out why.