I started out calling this section “Happiness”. As I understood my thoughts better, “being content” felt a better way to describe it.
Let’s say happiness is what I experience when I get something I desired. On the other hand, I may be content with things just way they are — no reason needed.
And therein lies the difference: the reliance on (or independence from) a cause to be happy1.
Describing happiness turned out to be harder than I thought. Is it absence of sorrow — just forgetting my troubles for while? Experiencing joy? Tearing up in joy? An ecstatic feeling? Is it a mellow happy — a constant underlying current of happiness? Of contentment?
It is that latter feeling that I’m trying to describe. I walk around, live everyday life, doing everyday things. Yet there is an underlying contentment. Other feelings ebb and flow — I feel happy, sad, angry, and so on, yet there continues to be an underlying contentment.
It takes effort to find that current, to nurture it, and help it grow. Its easy to get distracted by the sorrows and joys of everyday life. I get pulled into those all the time. More often than not, I completely forget that I can be content. Those times are not fun.
My blog entries describe my attempts to find that undercurrent of contentment — to be content. All I know is it is a great feeling. And I’m lucky to get to experience it.
One way to help get to and maintain that feeling of content is to become an observer.
- As an aside, kids seem to be always happy — they seem to have figured it out. Or perhaps we have simply forgotten something we always knew? ↩