What Are Love and Happiness? They Are Choices
"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
- Abraham Lincoln
"When you look at love, you're looking into the face of appreciation."
Two of the most important things in every person's life are love and happiness, which are choices. But few people see them that way. Most of us think that when you "fall in love", you are subject to the whims of your heart, cupid or whatever gives you those butterflies. We also think that happiness is an elusive thing that only a handful of people get to experience.
Oh, so wrong.
Love is thought of as a thing; something you fall into unexpectedly, like an open manhole or a large puddle or any another thing you'd fall into unexpectedly. It's true that you get butterflies when you're around the person you like. THAT'S ANXIETY, NOT A SYMPTOM OF LOVE.
Happiness is just as much of a choice as deciding what color socks you're going to wear on any given day. True, deciding to be happy may be a little more difficult to hash out, but they're both choices nonetheless.
Love isn't really a feeling. There are feelings that are associated with love, but it's not the whole of love. Those feelings are just called caring. Love is the decision to act on those feelings. Love is a verb. Love is a series of actions that show a person you care. Your heart may feel funny things, but your brain is saying, "Let's show this person how much I care by doing things for them."
There's supposedly not much of a difference between happiness and contentment. People often use the terms interchangeably. However, contentment seems to have a negative connotation. People say, "I'm content, but I'm not necessarily happy. "Which is the greater state?
If you look at the characteristics of love; then you know, love is patient, love is kind and you will notice all these are actions. They require effort and outward signs. Love never fails, just because you choose success or failure by how you show love. When most people say they've "fallen out of love," they're tired of making the effort to show it. Love becomes too difficult or too routine, or they didn't really want to make an effort in the first place. A lot of people get hurt by reckless loving.
Happiness is something people seem to strive for. It's thought of as a goal. On the other hand,contentment is choosing needs over wants. Kind of like "just one more thing and I could be happy." Then once they get that one more thing, whether it's money, a car, a boyfriend/ girlfriend, or a baby. There is usually a new "one more thing" that separates them from happiness. Happiness appears to be chasing wants rather than needs, which is why it never ends. There's only so much one does really need, but one can always find something new to want.
People that are satisfied by far smaller achievements and gains live day-to-day knowing they're just where they ought to be. Should some small favor come their way, they're happy for it, but it doesn't define their happiness. That is called contentment.
So, why isn't contentment the end goal? Perhaps it is because contentment requires a certain amount of humility that not everyone is willing to submit too. Contentment isn't having everything you want and more, which is what we prescribe to call happiness. Wouldn't we enjoy our lives so much more if contentment was our goal?
Admittedly, everyone does falls victim to the want cycle at one time or another, but you can be happy right now. You can be content right now. Happiness isn't a goal. Happiness should be a constant feeling based on your willingness to enjoy the world around you. Truthfully, you can choose to be unhappy because you don't have what you want, but you can choose to be happy because you have what you need. Now that you know that happiness is a choice; who would choose to be unhappy? Sadly, many of us have made that choice.
So, now you know, love and happiness are choices and now you can make much better decisions related to both. Niether one of these are an easy choice at any time, but they are up to you to choose. Isn't it nice to know that you can save your heart from some unnecessary stress and anguish just by changing your mind.
Al Green "Love & Happiness" -Live-
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