Sometimes family can give us advice that we just have to reflect on as well as follow. I had family over on Sunday for a housewarming brunch. It consisted of a lot of food, presents, and salsa music. Not to mention that the woman and I spent much of the past two weeks painting, so it was definitely a day we were looking forward to. It is also a reminder of how a big family can make any apartment seem small.
So after everything was said and done, one of my aunts told me something that I feel I need to reflect on. Most people, when they are saying their parting words to another person, would say something like stay safe or have fun. What my aunt chose to say was “Stay Happy.” I was sort of taken back by this because this is something that has never been said to me. I think she took the hint that I was a little perplexed by this and clarified by telling me that I truly look happy and I need to make sure that I stay that way.
I have to admit that this is not an appalling thing to be told, but I just found it to be oddly enlightening. We live in a world where people tend to blame others for their problems or give credit to God because he/she is the reason why all things are possible. There’s rarely a time when people think about the fact they it takes work and effort to maintain happiness. I think this is the main reason why many of us get into trouble because we are trying to find happiness as if it is a place where we can go to.
Happiness is a state of being. That is why no one person can make us happy if we do not know how to be in that state alone. This is where the list of tragic stories comes into play of people marrying the wrong people or people being stuck in dead-end jobs. There is this notion that we will eventually be happy if we follow this American dream of finding that right person, having that great job, getting a house, having 2.5 kids, and then credits roll. That rah rah shit is for the movies.
I believe that finding true happiness is a rebellious act. Think about that for a moment. How many people hate other people for being happy? This rebellious state of being often acts like a mirror to others. You can see your own unhappiness reflected back to you in someone’s bliss. Can we truly be happy for another person? Of course, but that would have to be based either love for that person or the fact there you have reached that state of being before.
I cannot describe what being happy is like but I can say that I feel free to do the things that I have a passion for and giving less of my attention to things that ultimately do not matter in the grand scheme. I believe that there is power in letting things go. There is no way that anyone of us can be truly happy if we are holding grudges or animosity toward anyone. It is unhealthy to hold that pent up negative energy toward anyone or anything. I choose to have a short memory and it has worked out for me. (Note: I can already see one of my friend’s saying he is happy all the while still holding grudges. Which does work for him but my ultimate point is the the closer to zero of amount of fucks you give will increase the likely hood that you can reach a happy state)
I also believe this state of being gives us an aura that people notice. The term “you are glowing” does mean something. With that aura comes the confidence to do the things we are meant to be doing. I thought about the fact that I simply could not really write the way I wanted to when I was in Syracuse. There were too many things that were distracting me which lead me to do just the bare minimum of what I am passionate about.
Stay Happy is an acknowledgement that I’m doing things right, but it is also a warning. People who are not used to being happy have a way of sabotaging themselves. I can tell you that I have to be careful not to fall into any traps or get too comfortable with my life. There is always work to do to make things better. While it is true that we cannot make every one happy, we can at least make ourselves happy.