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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happiness.

What is happiness? One could define the state of euphoria, but can it be described? What does it look like and how is it attainable? To me, the word happiness is immediately associated with feelings of contentment, inner peace, and satisfaction. When I am at ease and when my anxiety is nearly nonexistent--when I can take a deep breath and let go with a smile, I am happy. How is it shown? Perhaps, a person walks tall, appearing confident, with a smile. Often, many will say there is a glow that surrounds a happy person. Of course, this may be a stereotypical and over exaggerated portrayal, but it is happiness.



I believe happiness is something we create for ourselves. It's not something that can be found through success. No, it's merely the opposite. If one is happy, one is successful. As we grow up, our ambitions, priorities, and relationships change. Many struggle with the notion of change which results in confusion and frustration with the endless pursuit of happiness. When I was 6 years old, I was most happy when taken out for ice cream. There was nothing that could cheer me up like a chocolate chip ice cream cone.  When I was 16 years old, I was in my first relationship.  That brought my happiness because I felt wanted, needed, and loved.  However, relationships don't always last and neither do ice cream cones.  When I was dumped I thought it was the end of the world.  I thought I would drown in my own misery.  However, I'm still here, still single, and still happy.  Why? Because I've learned the importance of self-endowed happiness. I believe that with each experience we learn, mature and feel. How did I get back on my feet after a broken heart or failed exam? Perhaps a little faith and a lot of acceptance. Though we grow and change I've found that my faith has stayed by my side.  Its loyalty and consistency have allowed me to hold onto it, as one would with a precious stone when all else seems lost or vanished. With faith kept buried deep in my pocket reminding me everything happens for a reason, comfort and inner peace is restored. I believe this attributes to an understanding and ability to let go and trust the process, because I may not always get taken out for ice cream and I may be single for a long time.  But, that does not mean happiness can't be found.  As I continue to grow and change as a person the definition of happiness will also change.

How has happiness recently been restored? Currently, I am forbidden to exercise. At first, I was terrified. I thought the world would surely end as I would transform into a massive human being. However, I came to a realization.  I was still happy. I felt better because I couldn't pressure myself to work out. There were no voices screaming, "Run faster! Burn more calories!"  The power was out of my hands, thus I had to let go and trust the process. I had to accept the situation I was confronted with. Since I had plenty of time, I decided to shift my focus to what I could control and was able to change my attitude, priorities, and goals.  The past several weeks I've realized I enjoy eating socially with friends and family. The social aspect of meals brings people together as each individual shares a piece of themselves with others.  Because I was forbidden to exercise I was able to take the time to recognize the joy of social dining and of intuitive eating.

Though I remain unsure about what the future holds with faith in my back pocket I can walk tall and smile, as I learn to accept myself and my surroundings. Tonight, I will reflect on this past year and recall moments of happiness, sorrow, strength, weakness, and all that rests in between.  I will reflect and I will wish for pleasant dreams.

"Don't rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. if you can't love and respect yourself, no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are- comepletely; the good and the bad."
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29 comments:

  1. love this post. i struggle with that question a lot! i'm proud of you for seeing the bright side of being forbidden to exercise, and really getting in to your recovery. not just taking in the food you need, but doing so intuitively and allowing yourself to find pleasure in it. happy new year!

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  2. your posts make me want to cry and smile at the same time.. so insightful and so clos eto my heart. i totally feel you on the exercise issue -- at first i thought my world was ending (and sometimes i still feel anxious) but truthfully, as much as i hate to admti it, the exercise was a form of obsession and it is important that i am able to let go. i am proud of you and am happy to hear you are feeling positive- happiness seems so simple, but there is truly so much to it.

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  3. Happiness is definitely not a feeling you can describe, you're right. You know happiness when you've got it, but putting words to it doesn't do it justice.
    But does it really need to be described? Part of the magic of happiness is that you don't have to describe it - it's there, it's with you, and that's all that matters.
    You can't predict your future, and you can't know what your future will hold, but you can make your future. Which is exactly what you're doing. And you're making the most of it. Your faith is strong, you are strong, and you have the world in your hands.

    All my love,
    Eleanor.

    Happy New Year! xo

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  4. Beautiful words, dear. I love the quote at the end of the post. So true. I believe self - acceptance is the key to happiness.

    Keep Strong, You are amazing.
    Love,
    Lexi

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  5. Beautiful post<3 so glad you have been able to embrace life more, and find peace with not being able to exersize. You have more free time now, enjoy it! Have a wonderful New Year love!
    <3 <3 <3 <3

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  6. Rebecca, I hope you have an amazing New Years! I love this post. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about starting to build your castle right where you are. It is so important to make your own happiness instead of waiting for another person, place, or situation to make you happy. Thanks for reminding me of that!

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  7. You summed it up beautifully and especially with that quote. My mom always tells me that when I'm down. Happy new year!

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  8. Loved this post bec. You sound like you are really making so much progress and it gives me hope. What you said is so true--our happiness is up to us and we can create it for ourselves. It is all about perspective, how we see things. Stay strong love.

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  9. every word hit home for me. thanks becca, i've always relied one others to make me feel worthy, to supply my happiness. when the people were gone i felt worthless, alone, unhappy. i didn't have to feel that way, i can be happy as myself.
    i'm so glad you've embraced not exercising, its scary, but it feels nice and there really is more time. & rocking social eating, way to go :)
    you are beautiful.
    happy new year love
    xoxo

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  10. This post is simply amazing, as are you.

    What you said is so incredibly true - happiness must come from one source - yourself, and no one or nothing else. It is within yourself that you can be content and then that peace will radiate.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year's eve!

    xoxo

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  11. i struggle with this question. a LOT. like am i happy with myself? how i look? honestly? no. but that's not cool. i have to be happy. sometimes i put on this facade that i'm carefree, when deep down it's one dark chickie. sheesh. but this post beautifully words a lot of feelings i have. i ususally base my happiness on how people apparently like me. i shouldn't care about that! happiness comes from me. and me alone.

    happy new year (early wish hahaha)

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  12. you are so thoughtful and such an inspiring writer. i wish u many great things for 2010 and that we can all appreciate and love ourselves a bit more. happy new years love.

    xoxo
    lo

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  13. I love this post so much.
    I feel that I have never been happy and may never be. But, the notion of peace and contentment is my long-term wish. As a former competitive runner, who is entering her 2nd year as a walker, I let you know the feelings are not alone. You are doing well. It has taken me a full year of guilt, comparing and rumination to start accepting myself now ....and I still have not fully accepted it.
    Your words again are lovely and beautiful. I wish you a wonderful night , and know if we persevere, we can find something in the end.

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  14. You have the best posts! they always give me hope for tomorrow :) Happy new year to you also!

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  15. So beautifully written. I agree that often happiness is a choice, a state of mind that we must choose to take on, despite our circumstances or feelings.

    Happy 2010!

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  16. you are beautiful.
    keep up your faith love, it will pull you through.
    love you!

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  17. I get so excited every time I see you've written a new post... Embarrassing but true! I'm currently working really hard on my obsessiveness with exercise and am scared out of my mind. But reading this post gives me hope that I might not only get through it alive, but get happiness and something better out of the temporary anxiety and discomfort.
    When asked what the purpose of life was the Dalai Lama replied that it's to be happy. So regardless of whether you are successful by other people's standards what truly matters is whether you are content with yourself. Wishing you a fabulous 2010!

    Rachael

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  18. Such wise words. It's scary, and yet at the same time it's inspiring, that happiness just cannot come from outside things. You either make yourself happy with what you've got or you don't!

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  19. Rebecca,
    you are such a strong, positive, inspirational girl. I hope you have an amazing 2010!
    XO
    Laci ;)

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  20. I had to tell you this is a beautiful post! You are a beautiful person and help out so many people!

    XXOO
    Kris

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  21. Enjoyed this beautiful post. Thank you for the always kind comments they are always appreciated!

    xoxo
    Maggie

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  22. Such a thought provoking and beautiful post. I totally agree that happiness is something that comes from within. I love reading all your posts. You have such a wonderful writing style. Happy new years girl!

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  23. here's to a healthy and happy new year to you!!!

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  24. Love that quote! So true, something we all need to remind ourselves.
    Happiness is such a simple concept, and yet is so complex. I think until we learn how to make ourselves happy, all other achievments in life will be unfulfilling and seem irrelevant. So may 2010 be a year of happiness for you Rebecca! You deserve nothing less.

    Lots of love <3
    Hannah xo

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  25. so beautiful, my dear<3
    Create your happiness and live in it. Be free is your own life, and celebrate. cherish each moment<3
    love you.
    and happy newyear.

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  26. So well written.. you have a true talent!!
    I wish you nothing but happiness and health this 2010!! :)

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  27. I've been trying to figure out happiness for years now. I got thrown from happiness to sadness so quickly that I didn't even know how to rebuild myself. However, I do believe that the rebuilding process teaches you that happiness is attainable but fragile nonetheless.

    Happy New Year! May 2010 be a happy one for both of us!

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  28. Beautiful post. Happiness is within you!
    Smile and embrace it.
    Happy New Year!

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