Some of you may know that as well as being the first day of Spring, today is also the International Day of Happiness! But what is happiness? I spent so many years chasing the wisp of a dream, in desperate pursuit of what I thought the word ‘happiness’ meant. I drained my bank account and travelled the world, left my friends and family and threw away any sense of reason, searching for… well, I didn’t really know what.
Needless to say, I didn’t find what I was looking for. My biggest mistake was in assuming that happiness is something that you can hunt. I lived forever in tomorrow, always pursuing, always chasing, wondering if in a few minutes, a few hours, days, months, years… I might be happy. When I wasn’t in tomorrow, I was stuck on yesterday, reliving all of my mistakes and misjudgements, regretting things that I couldn’t change. I completely switched off to what was happening right then, in those moments that were unfolding right there before my eyes. I forgot to feel the fresh air in my lungs, the grass between my toes, I didn’t hear the waves breaking on the shore. I missed a stranger’s friendly smile and looked straight through her and walked on by. I lost contact with my friends and slowly drifted from my family. During those years, my loved ones grew older, people grew, evolved, changed and moved on. Every second I spent in that daze was a second that could have been treasured, wasted.
Fast forward to the moment that it finally clicked that happiness can be found nowhere else but RIGHT NOW.
I’m a very emotional person. And I mean, super mega ultra emotional. Everything I feel, I feel deeply. I can be an unstable, roller coaster-like mess when things aren’t calm and balanced in my life. The turning point for me was when I met Ben. He calmed me. When I saw his face, every rushing thought in my head seemed to dissolve in front of me, and suddenly it was now. All of that momentum which had been driving me forwards slowed to a stop, and I was left standing there looking at this human that had appeared into my life and touched it in a way that made all of the turmoil I had been experiencing, just drop to the floor around me. Suddenly I was there. In that moment. I felt the oxygen flowing in and out of my lungs. I could hear my heart beating. I could see his eyes, those eyes filled with limitless expression, staring back into mine. In that moment I realised that happiness is now, and it is only as potent as your ability to recognise it. I now take nothing and nobody for granted, I live in the moment and treasure every memory made as it is in the making. Everything that happens in life has a time and a reason. If you live your life craving the big moments, you miss the small joys in between. Those big moments will come either way! So why not enjoy the ride in between?
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always been a happy and content person, I had an amazing childhood and overall I’ve had a pretty sweet life. My family are incredible and absolutely irreplaceable. But Ben was my turning point to my true happiness. He makes me happy himself, yes, but he also encourages me to identify my own happiness. He has taught me to truly love myself, and by extension, love others. Not to mention that with Benji, comes the most incredible little girl, Nevaeh, who I love like my own. They are my happiness.
Happiness is all around us. It is the people we love. It’s the colours that paint the sky at dusk. It’s the joyful laugh of a child and the smell of rain on warm tarmac. It’s the feeling of ocean spray on your face and the pretty little song of a robin. It’s in those precious moments that we all too often overlook, because we are too blinded by our pursuit of happiness to realise that it’s staring us in the face. Don’t waste your happiness, recognise the little things you’d usually brush off. Hug your loved ones and go for walks in the rain, show others compassion and love, and it will be returned to you.
May every day be an International Day of Happiness! 🙂