In celebration of our Independence Day I wanted to blog about my favorite excerpt from the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
What does happiness mean? If we’re in a continuing search for it, how will we ever know if we found it?
I’ve read about the debate of this word by following the rabbit down the online hole of debates … Some believe that it was referencing property and estates. Others say its about dower; which is in relation to estate by common law for widows. Another belief is that it could have been used to represent natural religion with the practice of reason and truth.
With so many options, I wanted to look into it a bit more.
Happiness is defined as “a state of being happy” but we all know that it’s fleeting.
Contentment is defined as “a state of being happy and satisfied.”
I have been on a quest for “happiness” for the last decade.
Every year since I was 23 I’ve made my New Year’s resolution dedicated to “be happy!” It’s such a broad goal that I’ve was unable to define because I was affraid of what that looked like and how far I was from it.
It took a huge leap right before I turned 30 for me to go outside of my comfort zone of an eight year relationship and on a career path that wasn’t what I desired.
The jump came from when I was finally brave enough to define and verbalize what I wanted in life.
To be honest, it was one the most terrifying shifts that I’ve ever made. I’m secretly a reclusive person and this shift made me want to recluse into the shell of my old life.
But like a hermit crab, I had to leave the shell I was in so that I could continue to grow into the shell I wanted.
After I made the shift it was frightening to imagine that I could have been wrong … What if this shift I made left me alone and on a path without a partner or love?
I knew if I went back it would only put me on the same path that I was on and would lead me back into a state of sadness and disappointment in myself so I stayed in the new shell … It might have felt too big at the time but it allowed me to grow to be where I am.
I do have some space left to fill but I’m finally comfortable knowing that the empty and blank space is available so I can grow and create.
Happiness … It’s impossible for anyone, including myself, to define it for anyone else. It must be defined by each individual.
Verbalizing your needs and creating the life you desire rests in your hands. Happiness is an inside job that requires a lot of love and patience.
We must all remember that happiness doesn’t mean that your life will be exploading with glitter every single day.
It’s going to be hard, blissful, sad, exciting, depressing, loving, and a whole lot more. The highs and lows are all a part of the journey we’re on. Who could live a life of 100% happy moments? It’s impossible and dellusional to imagine that it’s even obtainable.
Contentment offers the realistic part of happiness … It allows you to be comfortable with current, past, and future seasons of your life.
The past gave you the experience. While the present offers you a chance to live a life that has been molded from your experiences. And the future gives you the hope that you can achieve the life of your dreams.
The only way to obtain contentment is to be calm and release control. The only real thing that you can control is yourself. This realization can be free you of so much stress if you allow it.
Everything that happens is what it is … It’s all happening and the only calm control that can posess is within you.
This is your truest form of independence.
I hope this post brings you comfort and ignites a concept for you with the current season you’re in.
I’m off to ignite a fire for some s’mores and sparklers later this evening!
Happy Independence Day to you and your pursuit of contentment!