Hey Moms! If you're like me, you got up extra early this past Friday morning to witness one of Britian's happiest occassions in recent history: the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. As I told my daughters, it's not often the world has the opportunity to witness an ordinary girl turn in to a real-life Princess; certainly a dream come true.
To me, one of the sweetest and most noteable moments during the event occured as the couple settled into the royal carriage and Princess Kate whispered to her groom, "I'm so happy." Ahhhhhhh! Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I've replayed that moment over and over again in my mind. The sweetness in her expression, the loving gaze she gives her new husband, the excitement of the day's events. To say the least, a happy day.
Webster’s dictionary describes happiness as “feeling pleased”. To please is described as “to give satisfaction or pleasure to”. It’s quite interesting to me to note the use of the word “give” in the definition. Is it logical that one’s pleasure and happiness comes from giving rather than obtaining? This is contrary to our modern day thinking. Society tells us we must concentrate on our own desires to feel happiness and that we need recognition, wealth, and possessions to get there. The truth, however, is just the opposite. Human beings were created not for solitude but for communion with others. Therefore, if we desire true happiness for ourselves we must steadfastly pursue others. You may be thinking, “Sounds great Kirsten, but I’m the one who’s not so happy here; why should I begin with others?” Ask yourself, “Why am I unhappy?” Then, take a few minutes to write out your reasons and carefully consider each one. Is a selfish attitude or defensive nature blocking your happiness? Remember, a requisite of happiness is a clear conscience. If you’re not happy, change what you can and accept what you must. Your happiness is not dependent on your circumstances; it is a learned behavior. Practice happiness and it will become a natural feeling for you. Commit today to a happier self by pursuing others and their needs. Begin with your family. What does your child need? What makes him/her happy? Maybe it’s as simple as a walk to the park or some reading time together. When your child is content and happy aren’t you too? What does your husband, mother, father, or sibling need that you can become involved in? Take a vested interest in their desires and determine specific ways you can help. Savor the happiness you’ll feel from assisting those you love.
How about taking this concept to the next level with those you don’t know? Warmly greet a grocery cashier, offer your place in the check-out line to an elderly person, bring dinner to a neighborhood family with working/traveling parents, ask a sales clerk how their day is going, etc. Robert F. Kennedy said it best, “You’re happiest while you’re making the greatest contribution.”
If happiness had a golden rule, it might go something like this:
Think about what you would want others to do for you and whatever you want more of, give away.
Kirsten Berger Coaching