I’ve never been excited by the word “happy.”
Maybe it’s because I’ve rarely felt pure happiness and have always felt like I needed something more. Or maybe it seemed pointless to strive for something as selfish as being happy when so many people are suffering and could use my help.
Either way, the fuss around becoming happy has never really jived with me.
But lately something weird has been happening. I’ve been feeling good in the simplest of moments. I’ve been feeling something that easily could be described as happiness.
But it isn’t what I would have ever expected. It’s not about winning a millions dollars or being swept off my feet in one big romantic gesture.
Instead it’s come when I’ve been lying in bed after the alarm has gone off without a plan to get up. I just stay in bed feeling the softness of the mattress and the cradling comfort of the pillow and let the pure sensations seep into my being.
It’s in eating a cheese quesadilla and watching the cheese stretch from my mouth to the plate and licking my fingers and not wishing to be anywhere else.
It comes in just being here.
Not in a fantasy of how great life will be when I’m more successful.
Not in a dream about when the kids grow up and I can go anywhere I want anytime I want.
And not in imagining my stomach leaner and my skin clearer.
It’s in being here, mind blank, with a profound experience in front of me. Whatever that experience is.
Being here—it feels a lot like happiness, only bolder and brighter. Because as long as there’s a present moment, it can never be taken away.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Evan Yerburgh