The Path to Happiness: How I Found Happiness Within Myself

For many years, I struggled with inner demons that blocked the path to happiness. I wrestled with restlessness, depression and bouts of feelings of hopelessness. You know moments when you wake up and see the sun shining and the birds chirping but you just want to crawl back in bed and hide. It seemed so much easier to run away from life.

But once you recognized the void, you try with all your might to fill it up. You immerse yourself with activities, love, relationships, companionship, music, and food, anything to assuage the emptiness. Until one day, I woke up and realized I was fed up with this doom gloom thing. I was ready to do something different.

That’s when light entered my soul and I recognized the first truth to the path to happiness. And when I did, I took another step and another one, until I was happily skipping and dancing in this path of joy.

Here are the lessons I have learned along the way.

When you are ready to get out of the rut, you will discover that there are hands ready to help you up. I realized I was ready to step out of the dark hole of misery. Books fell into my hands and I savoured them eagerly. I met positive and kind souls who affirmed and supported me.

To find joy and happiness, I need not look elsewhere for it was just inside me. I needed to understand that happiness was not out there, it was here on the inside.

With my friend Daisy in Fo Guang Shan, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
With my friend Daisy in Fo Guang Shan, Kaohsiung, Taiwan | Source

Happiness is deciding to be in the present moment and to treasure every minute of it. There is a need to listen to your thoughts as I had to. Are you constantly recalling your past or contemplating about the future? If yes, stop! Choose to be happy by treasuring the now. Live in the now!

Are you cutting the grass? Savor the blade in your hands. Are you making love? Enjoy the pleasure and the intimacy and the love shared. Are you playing with your child? Relish her smile and the way her face lights up when you are around.

Happiness is having a positive attitude to life.

Positivity and negativity cannot exist in the same plane. Accept the negative things that are there in your life. After the acceptance, choose to move on. Choose to let go of what is holding you back from living a joyful life.

Happiness is having an attitude of gratitude.

A thankful heart paves the way for happiness to flourish. It sees beyond the sadness or the burdens of life. It is not a matter of acquiring a good fortune or fame or popularity. It comes from appreciating what we have instead of what we don’t have. With it comes a deep knowing that things may not seem to be working right now but there is something more to discover, to learn, to hope for.

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are” ~Marianne Williamson

This was a photo I took in Bohol Philippines. Mesmerized by the blue sea, it beckoned the mind to stillness and happiness.
This was a photo I took in Bohol Philippines. Mesmerized by the blue sea, it beckoned the mind to stillness and happiness. | Source

If you want to experience happiness, then share happiness to others. Sometimes going out of our way to help another person uplifts our spirit. For those who give their time, energy, money, talents and skills with joy, joy is their reward. So continually be attentive to what increases your joy of living and do more of that.

Being happy doesn’t mean you don’t have any problems and that life has to be perfect. It just means you have decided to see beyond the problems and the imperfections and decide to be happy anyway. I hated pain of any kind. I felt problems and pain made life miserable. Accepting that my life doesn’t have to be perfect for me to be happy freed me from internal stress. And peace followed after that.

“I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

On a quiet morning while most people were still asleep, I took a stroll in the gardens of Imperial Palace and joyfully breathe in the fresh air of life. Aaaah, grateful to be surrounded with nature.
On a quiet morning while most people were still asleep, I took a stroll in the gardens of Imperial Palace and joyfully breathe in the fresh air of life. Aaaah, grateful to be surrounded with nature. | Source

A wise man by the name of Thich Nhat Hanh said, "“There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way.” As you travel the path to happiness, may you always remember that happiness is not out there, it's within you. Denis Waitley also defines happiness as a spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. Beautiful!

To your happiness and joy.

BY: Michelle Simtoco

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Comments 29 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Truer words were never written...happiness is an inside job. You quoted one of my favorite authors in Buscaglia. Great hub with a message for everyone.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

I totally agree with what you’ve written here: happiness comes from inside. Like you, it took me a while to get to this understanding, but once it comes life only goes on getting better. I agree with Billybuc - a great hub!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 4 years ago

Dearest Michele ~ You really are a Ripplemaker! Thank you so much for sharing this! Blessings to you always, Earth Angel!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

billybuc, Buscaglia is my one of my favourite authors too! Thanks for sharing happiness with me on this sunny tuesday. Take care.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Melovy, hahahaha yes sometimes I look back and wondered why it took so long to get out of the rut. And gratitude fills my heart to know how far I have come and there are many moments to treasure at this point in my life. Thank you for your inspiring comment. Have a beautiful and happy day.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Earth Angel, your positive presence always shines through and made me smile. Thank you dearest one for spreading happiness wherever you go!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Great sharing on this valuable virtue. Happiness is a choice and one that we must practice daily. Great reflections on this and your advice and tips will help many to grasp the idea. Voted up!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

teaches12345: Thanks so much! To know that it is a choice makes a huge difference! Blessings!


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

True happiness is true spirituality. Feel free to quote me.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

aviannovice: thanks for sharing! :)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

ripplemaker, your hub reminds me of a saying "happiness is a state of mind". I do not recollect who said this but it's so true. We think happiness, we get happiness. Satisfaction in what we have is the answer to all happiness. Plus there are ways you outlined as well.

Great hub. Up all the way.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Rajan, yes it is indeed a state of mind! I agree! :) Thank you for dropping by to leave a comment and share happiness with me!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Wonderful words to live by. Thank you for sharing your story.I love the photos too!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 4 years ago from USA

Hi ripplemaker - I go for that "attitude of gratitude" stuff, even when it may only be self gratification - Maybe another way of putting that would be "Well, I guess that this is better than nothing." :)

Gus :-)))


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Green Lotus, thank you for reading this one. To your happiness... :)

Gus, to be in a state of gratitude puts you in a better place, I know! heheheh you take care.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 4 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Beautiful, my friend! I agree that we can happy even in the midst of challenges, thank God and for me it starts with gratitude. Your hub is definitely a pick me up!

Voted up and beautiful! :)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thank you Marie. Yes gratitude is definitely the biggest factor for happiness! Love and light.


hi friend profile image

hi friend 4 years ago from India

nice hub


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Nice reminders, Michelle, that happiness is within our grasp if we just reach for it. You are a blessing to so many others because of the joy and wisdom that you continually spread. Ripplemaker is a perfect name for you! Blessings to you always. Up and useful votes and sharing this with others.


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 4 years ago

A very positive and excellent hub. It's so nice to be happy :)


Terry27 profile image

Terry27 4 years ago from The Place Called Love

Michelle, thank you for sharing this inspirational post. Your story is amazing. There was a time when I lived in doom and gloom. I was cynical. But one day I woke up and realized there was a better way.

As I turned away from the darkness and embraced the light, I noticed miracles began to happen. Like you, certain books came to me. The right people would open my eyes to a new perspective. I soon realized that love is the answer. We are Beautiful Beings of Love.

I am also a big fan of Leo Buscaglia. I have mentioned him in many of my articles.

I voted your hub Up and everything minus funny.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Peggy: Thank you so much for your kind words. They inspire me to keep on growing and learning and sharing. Your presence is much appreciated always!

twentyfive: Being happy with you right now :) Thanks for dropping by!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Terry: Hi! It's so nice of you to drop by and read this hub. I wasn't able to go online yesterday as we had a black out and our phone lines went dead too. So I just rested. I feel your positive spirit emanating from where you are and as I read your words. I joyfully share this delight for life with you! I too have read a lot of Leo's books! Thanks for liking this hub! Blessings to you friend!


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

Hi ripplemaker.

Very wise and very true.

Happiness also means having a loving realtionship with Jesus.

You are truly a rich lady when you live the life you have described with Jesus at its center,

God bless you.


madisonmiller profile image

madisonmiller 4 years ago from Princeton, Nj

Really Nice . Happiness is achieved and maintained when you feel ongoing peace in your heart, sustain a peaceful mind and feel ongoing joy (high vibrations).


LEWMaxwell profile image

LEWMaxwell 4 years ago from Tulsa, Oklahoma

Well done. The trick is having the epiphany that will lead to the path of finding true happiness within oneself. We can't lead anyone there, they have to find that path on their own. I too suffered from depression on different levels and had to pull myself back from that dark abyss. Not an easy thing to do. Thank you for sharing.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 4 years ago from Manila

Beautiful! Well done and well said. Many blessings to you. Best regards.


SidKemp profile image

SidKemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

Thanks for these beautiful simple truths. They touch me in three ways. First of all, even though I "know" all this, I need simple, beautiful reminders of it often to keep me unstuck and happy. Second, it reminds me of my old friend Thich Nhat Hanh, who I haven't seen now in 14 years, but who lives in my heart. Third, I have a friend who is prone to despair, and I think this will give her a lift. Shared!


LifeAbundance 4 years ago

So true. Thanks for keeping it real and spreading the message.

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