Happily Ever After.

“And they lived happily ever after…..” That’s the fairytale. But life is more complicated than any storybook and when it throws up challenges and heartaches, happiness can seem like an unreachable dream.

“The darker the despair, the brighter the joy.” ~ Carolyn Hughes

My own experiences of abandonment, abuse, addiction, depression have all played their part in making me feel sad and despondent at one time or another. But faith, love, gratitude have helped me to find happiness in the darkest places. Learning to take each day at a time, and appreciating each moment in time reminds me that life is too short for regrets or fear.  Happiness, joy and laughter are to be enjoyed today.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Happiness is all about you. Only you can make yourself happy, so if you’re relying on something else to give you peace of mind, think again. Society persuades us that we can be instantly and permanently exhilarated and delighted – Buy this. Do that. Eat this. Drink that. Wear this. Look like that. We are bombarded daily with the promise of never-ending pleasure. That’s gratification. It’s not true happiness.

Inner contentment can be a fleeting feeling or a deep-seated emotion. Most of all it should be an established attitude.  Living joyfully and peacefully means accepting imperfections in yourself and others.

Happiness is appreciating what is right, not lamenting what is wrong. It’s being thankful for what you have, and not being envious of others. It’s looking forward to the destination, but enjoying the journey. So stop waiting for happy days. They’re here already!

 “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” ~ Dalai Lama.

A word of warning if you are looking to others to make you happy. They can’t. Of course you can enjoy a wonderful relationship, but it can’t be dependent on someone else’s happiness. Neither can you depend on someone else to provide you with total fulfilment. It’s not their responsibility.

Your happiness comes from within your heart. Only you hold the keys to your heart. And only you hold the keys to your ‘happily ever after’.