Cella’s Chat: What’s Your Definition of Happiness?

Walking through this life, my definition of happiness has changed drastically.  When I was in my 20's, I thought the key to happiness was to live what most people would term "The American Dream."  You know, that crazy notion of a perfect marriage, white picket fence, beautiful (and most perfect) children, a dream job and bliss (with a pot of gold to top it all off!).  By the time I hit 42, that reality was smashed like a piece of crystal that accidentally slipped from your hands. I realized that it wasn’t that I had, what looked to many people to be the quintessential life of "having it all," but that I could not find happiness in those things.  The ultimate wisdom comes from the epiphany that happiness is not something you construct or gather with an accumulation of things in this life.  Like a bucket list we create at an early age of the "must haves," we are not mature enough at the beginning of our adult young life to understand that happiness is the feeling of joy you feel deep down inside, the contentment that "I am ok exactly where I am" because of you and not your stuff.   It is not the "frills" that we add to our lives in the form of a beautiful home, fancy car, or, big “bling” but the joy of the simple things in life.  As the comedian George Carlin used to say, "we are always trying to find a place for our stuff, we wouldn't even need a house if we didn't have so much stuff and then we need to get a bigger house because we have even more stuff."  Though presented in a comedic way, it is such a true and ironic statement.  We end up living in such clutter both internally and externally, that we don't know how to clean our inner house and just live.  Why is it that most people have to hit some kind of rock bottom - that kind of  calamity that "hits you in the face" that finally makes you realize that everything we need to solve our dilemmas are at our fingertips, just inside ourselves!  The lesson here is that "stuff" doesn't bring happiness, but when contentment is finally found in the simplicity and joy within, we begin to manifest all we need, both in the form of desires and things (or "stuff" as George calls it!).  I had to learn the hard way but you don't have to.  Check out Graham Hill's opinion piece called “Living With Less. A Lot Less.”.  Graham writes how he has found that owning less stuff has made him happier.  When clutter starts accumulating inside your house ask yourself why?  Is this an attempt to fill your soul to make yourself happy?  And before giving into that quick fix of searching for something tangible to "buy and accumulate" in order to satiate your happiness, stop and look inside yourself first.  Where can you start cleaning out the clutter (both inner and outer) that is collecting in your life and preventing you from truly living your life?  

A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.
- George Carlin

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