The Only Thing We Need to be Happy.

Via Jennifer S. White
on Aug 11, 2014
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The more I move through life, the more I’m convinced that kindness and happiness are interchangeable.

I’m an extremely sensitive person. I know what it’s like to have hurt feelings that make you want to cry and hole up under the covers.

And yet.

And yet I’m an extremely fiery person.

I know, more, what it’s like to innately transform my hurt into sharp-tongued words and caustic action.

So I practice kindness. And it is a practice.

There are days when my dagger-like tongue wins and I find myself apologizing. More frequently, there are days when I find my heart housing bitter resentment towards another’s deeply unkind behavior and I have to practice extending both my heart and a smile rather than an equally detrimental attitude.

But kindness extends to me too.

No one wins when we forget to be kind to ourselves first.

I think it’s absolutely true that to love others we need to love ourselves. Because love involves respect, equal-footing and hand-holding, not follow-the-leader or idolization.

And happiness co-exists with love.

So today, as I move into my morning with a few feelings of woundedness and, also, a lack of understanding for why some people do the things that they do, I choose to move towards love—and happiness—by choosing empathy and compassion where my mind fails to grasp another human’s intentions.

I choose kindness. I choose love. I choose happiness.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

~ Dalai Lama




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Editor: Emma Ruffin & Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photos: WikiCommons


About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer S. White is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She’s also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people who ever lived and she’s also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer, make sure to check out her writing, as she’s finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer is the author of The Best Day of Your Life, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She's also as excited as a five year old to announce the release of her second book, The Art of Parenting: Love Letters from a Mother, available on Amazon.


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