- Mental Health
Are You Happy......If Not......Why II
What Can We Do To Be Happy
In our previous article we asked the question, are you happy. I used some of my customary characters to drive the point home. During this article I'll give my thoughts, and only mine, on what I think each characters should do, or should have done. Let's recap, our characters are, Unhappy Helena, and her husband Hard Working Harry, Embarrassed Eddie, Dissatisfied Daisy, What About Me Melvin, and his wife, Self Sacrificing Sadie, and Popular At Any Cost Patience. In order to understand what's happening you'll have to go back, and read from the beginning the article, Are you Happy, if not why.
Let's begin with Unhappy Helena, and her husband, Hard Working Harry. It's unfortunate that Helena depends on material things for her happiness. One thought on Helena's situation, she already has her priorities in order, that is to help raise happy, healthy well adjusted children. That's not to say it can't be done with a working mother, however, it is much easier to accomplish this when you have unlimited time to spend with your little ones, especially during their formative years. I'm speaking from experience, I did it both ways, and being home during those years with my children really benefited both the child and me. I digress, back to the issue at hand, Helena's lack of contentment with her lot in life.
One thing that Helena needs to do is take a look around her, maybe volunteer in a neighborhood where people only dreamed of having a home of any size. Maybe take a look at people who only have public transportation as their means of moving from one place to another. Now, let's not be too hard on Helena, we know material things are not the key to ultimate happiness, but for Helena, she has dreams, and there's nothing wrong with that. Did we notice Helena was fine until she joined the gym. This just goes to show that peer pressure doesn't end in school. Helena should take a good look at those ladies, and assess how long it took for them to get to where they are now, and appreciate that she too, if patient, can achieve that status. However, for the time being, maybe she should quit the club so she won't continue to covet what those ladies have. Most of all, Harry and Helena should have a long heartfelt discussion, before it's too late for their marriage.
Poor Embarrassed Eddie, doesn't realize that his family is the best thing he has. He also doesn't realize that sometimes when people harass you they're envious of what you have. I've heard that being an only child, for some, is not necessarily what they desire, especially during their youth. Just a little aside, my two older children are seven years apart. When we had the second son, the first seemingly came alive. He couldn't do enough to make his brother happy. He later confessed to us that he felt so alone, during those years without his brother, despite the fact that we three spent all of our time together. Back to Eddie, he could have a conversation with one of his tormentors that meet that description and ask him how his life is, or anyone who is an only child. Another thing he could do is "just ride it out," realizing "this too shall pass."
Daisy, Daisy, Daisy, tsk, tsk, tsk, dear Dissatisfied Daisy. Too much emphasis is placed on physical beauty these days, and poor Daisy is caught up in it. Most of us were teased about one thing or another during our youth. I know, what I'm about to say is easier to say than do. Nevertheless here's my advice to the Daisy's of the world. Take a look around you, and note what you see. Observe the girl with hard to grow, or manage hair, don't you think she wishes that she had your type of hair, or the one that has Alopecia. See the young lady in the wheel chair, any kind of working legs would make her happy, don't you think. This could apply to anyone who's unhappy about their physical appearance. Even someone who might be physically handicapped, or have the conditions I mentioned, just think, your situation could be worse. So you see, linking your happiness to physical appearance could be somewhat shallow. Let's not even take it that far, let's just say, maybe Daisy could develop her inner beauty, and begin associating with ones of similar interests, and maybe, just maybe that elusive happiness could be hers.
Then there's What About Me Melvin, who's hinged his entire happiness on his wife, Self Sacrificing Sadie. Melvin tells Sadie he's complete with her. What a shame. Did Melvin not have friends before he met Sadie? Melvin, dear Melvin, get a life, no really, develop an interest in something other than your wife. It's apparent that she has other interests. You can't use another person to make you happy. You, and only you have that ability. What made you happy before you met Sadie? Think! Those are the same things that you can find satisfaction in now. Do you garden, fish, read? These are all things that can be done alone. What about "hanging out with the boys," or watching a "guy flick?" Even though Sadie is not saying anything, she's giving all the signs, if you're not sure, just ask her. And when she tells you the truth, take heed and try to follow through on what you've learned.
Now, on to our final happiness challenged individual, Popular At Any Cost Patience. Patience, take a step back and look at yourself in the light of the description given. Does it make you happy to think that people see you in that light? You see the extent to which you go, to get attention is irritating to those of whom you seek it. You know the expression, "beauty is as beauty does." Well, let's apply that to happiness. Let's say, "happiness is as happiness does." Try giving someone else, who appears in need of attention, some attention. You see these acts can be reciprocal. Sometimes the attention you are seeking can come inadvertently as a result of you turning the tables, and attempting to make someone else happy. I'm not suggestions that you fake this for selfish gain, no, genuinely reach out to someone else. You know, the Bible says, "there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving," so give it a try.
As we have discovered, happiness is a state of mind, or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure or joy. With this definition, what do we need to make this happen for us, does it depend on someone, or something else? Or can we, independent of anyone else derive happiness? We know that physical appearances, popularity, and all outside stimuli cannot in and of itself bring complete happiness. So we must find in ourselves what makes US happy, really happy and seek to acquire it. Can we take the advice given to our happiness challenged characters to heart, and if we see ourselves in any of these roles, make the change, and find that prior elusive state and make it our own.
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