Wisdom Workout


Courting Happiness

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly.” “Tis the season to be jolly.” Given that, let’s explore our relationship with happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind. How do we get it? Can we keep it? What makes it so elusive?

Here are a few aspects of happiness that come immediately to light. Happiness seems a bit unstable. She is unreliable, inconsistent and flighty. Frankly, she doesn’t score high in either loyalty or accountability either.

Actually, she is downright self-centered and difficult to please for any length of time. I know this sounds like blatant character assassination, but we need to have an honest discussion about her so that we can decide whether it’s worth spending the time and energy to court her.

She may simply be too much trouble, and if that’s the case, though disappointing, at least we can settle for an experience that is safer and more secure, like mild contentment, for example.

Though happiness is widely accepted in many social circles, she comes from a family background that includes some sketchy characters.

Spontaneity, passion, zest for living, exuberance and gaiety are direct relatives of hers. Polite society raises their eyebrow when confronted with these types of emotional excess.

In general, happiness is a bit of a wild child. She shows up on your doorstep with sunlight streaming through her hair and winds of delight whistling around her. A pink light settles in around you so that life seems friendlier. Nothing is different, and yet everything seems easier and brighter.

No wonder we long for a visit from happiness and are willing to ignore the fact that when she disappears, it is devastating. She leaves us wishing we had never met her because the loss is so great.

Once happiness has visited your life, you are never the same. If she is a consistent house guest, some self-congratulations are in order. It means that you have mastered certain attitudes that allow her to come often and stay long.

Happiness lives on her own timeline. She will not tolerate demands or heavy-handed control measures. She will only respond to a light, accepting touch. She is highly curious and changes her mind often, so it is pointless to try to pin her down with contracts or commitments.

Happiness requires us to let go of rigid attitudes that keep us stifled, controlled and emotionally restricted. We must be willing to open our mind and heart to the unpredictable, uncontrollable aspects of life by easing up on our need to know, be sure and be right.

There is one big secret about happiness that, once you know it, will give you the key to a lifelong friendship with her. I have waited this long to tell you because I want to make sure that you are sincere about wanting happiness in your life.

I imagine you are familiar with the phrase: Misery loves company. The truth is that misery does love company, and his main companion is happiness.

Misery and happiness are soulmates. He fell in love with her and will never let her go. She wouldn’t think of leaving him either. They are so secure in their relationship, that each carries out their life purpose individually and then they reconnect to keep their relationship alive and well.

Don’t take my word for this. See for yourself. Recall a time in your life when you were particularly happy. Now push the memory further until you find the edge when happiness started to slip away and was replaced by a different experience. If you look closely, you will discover this new experience brought some form of misery. It was simply misery coming to find his love and reunite with her.

The secret to solidifying an intimate relationship with happiness is to wholeheartedly welcome our unacknowledged heart hurts—our miseriesinto our lives. When we choose to embrace both happiness and misery as equal partners in the dance of life, they can finally live together and allow their love to weave their wisdom and magic into the fabric of your life.


Susan is a local writer, produces self-help seminars, and is author of “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” Connect with her at susanvelasquez.com.







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