Elizabeth Gilbert wrote: “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
I write: Isn’t it so easy to read what other people have to say about happiness? They make it seem so simple and easy to understand, but at the same rate, we all struggle with it day in and day out. Elizabeth is right; Happiness IS the consequence of personal effort and it is no easy task to take grasp of. Some people spend their whole lives passing by themselves without experiencing true happiness, while others seem as if they have every strand of hair put in place without flaw. We all know those people and all have those people in our lives. They are the ones who make happiness seem so easy and so effortless. In reality, all of “those” people I have met or encountered in life, deep down, struggle with the same fight we all do. I’d like to meet anyone in this world who has encountered happiness without dealing with some form of heartbreak, or struggle or failure in life.
I have had the joy of being part of a small group for well over a year now. For those of you who are wondering what on earth a small group is, well… it is a small group! My particular small group consists of 7 people, including myself, who meet together when our schedules coincide. We are all different, and all have something different to bring to the table. We laugh, we’ve cried, we encourage and build each other up. <> We listen to each other, vent, and adventure, laugh a lot more, and make up any excuse we can come up with to get together! We are all friends, with very different lives.
The other night we used the excuse that we were hungry for Chinese food, so gathered together (minus 2 of our loves). It was a great evening, and time just flew by. We started talking about what was going on in everyone’s lives, and just as everyone has happy moments, we also all had “things” going on that sat on the lap of happiness. We are each wandering the road of life and though the road is mostly a happy journey, we sometimes find ourselves walking barefoot on rocky roads (not the ice cream), or through mud puddles or thick brush. Even though life is an adventure that can be happy and exciting; those tough trails are ones that everyone walks on.
Imagine all 7 of us who are in my small group, starting a trek up a mountain each with 7 different starting points. We all have to work our way up, and each trail presents different trials and tribulations, yet at the end of the journey, we have all reached the top of the peak and experience true joy in success. Isn’t that how life is? We all have different journeys, yet the meaning of happiness, is in a way quite similar for everyone. Happiness, in part, is the concept of experiencing joy and appreciating each moment it took you to succeed.
One of my favorite authors had something to say about happiness.
“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
I wish for you dear friends, an exciting adventure to happiness. I wish for you inspiration, and the ability to not fear the journey. It will be rocky, it will be muddy at times, but it will be worth it. I’m 27 and have a long road behind me, and a hopefully longer road ahead of me. This time, considering I am working on bettering myself physically, emotionally and spiritually, I am going to try my very best to keep at this writing thing! I used to be so good at it. Stick with me, like I said, you have every bit of permission to fall asleep at moments, but I promise the road won’t be boring all the time!