The Habit of Being Happy by Tasha Halpert

LLisa's butterfly Each day I open and enjoy a quote sent to me by Gratefulness.org, an Internet site dedicated to the expression of gratitude. Their specialty is the relaying of positive and uplifting news and views. A recent quote I enjoyed from Robert Louis Stevenson struck me as being an appropriate subject for a Heartwings Love Note. “The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from domination of outside conditions.”

I know that this sounds odd, yet it has proven to me to be a truth to live by. I used to think if had thus and so or such and such it would make me happy. And it is true that making a change in circumstances can sometimes make a difference to anyone’s happiness, yet in the main it is the acknowledgement of those things in my life that I cherish and that gladden my heart that form the core of my own inner happiness.

All too often, and most especially at this time of year, the bringing of happiness becomes a selling point for practically every kind of gift or even donation to a cause. These appeals completely ignore the fact that happiness is not something that can be given or bestowed by any act on the part of someone else. Happiness can only come from within. It may come briefly as the response to the gift or act, yet that feeling soon fades if it is not habitual.

On the other hand, if I have the habit of happiness, my response to conditions that could create unhappiness will not be one of dismay but rather one of patience, tolerance, or even when I am able to see the situation in the right light, gratitude. R.L.S. as he was often known, had a great many challenges in his lifetime, one severe one being the health problems that plagued him for most of his life. Yet he persevered and wrote remarkable stories and wonderful poems that have endured in popularity through many generations.

As a child I enjoyed his poems and to this day can still quote a few. As I grew older I became enthralled by his wonderful stories of heroes and villains, Treasure Island and all the rest peopled by characters that caught my imagination and made me want to be part of their world. His adult short stores are also most entertaining. He is still one of my favorite authors. Yet I did not know much about his personal life until later on, and when I read about it I admired him even more.

A current hit song, heard everywhere these days is called “Happiness.” A catchy, bouncy tune, it exemplifies to me the light hearted feeling that the habit of happiness sings in my heart. As I work to stay with my attitude of gratitude for my life and all is holds I can feel this happiness glowing within me. It is an all season inner sense of rejoicing that helps me feel good no mater the weather or the circumstances. Practice makes perfect, and I find that this practice of inner happiness is most enjoyable.

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