Someone asked me recently, “Dallas, are you happy?”
Cue the crickets.
My response stuck in my throat, and I couldn't give them a trite, "Yes." Honestly, I didn’t know how to answer the question. It led to a larger, existential questioning of life, of self, of purpose, et al.
What is happiness?
That question has led me toward a greater quest - to discover what true happiness means.
Is happiness the same as joy? Is it the same as contentment? Is it a general feeling of delight toward life? Is it determined by circumstances, or is a state that exists regardless of circumstances? The dictionary uses all of those words (joy, contentment, delight, etc.) to define "Happy," but I'm not sure they're all the same.
For me, joy seems to be the high points of life - those moments of elation. Joy seems momentary. Fleeting. Temporary. Joy seems to be the response to exciting, joy-inducing circumstances. Happiness, on the other hand, seems to be a more steadfast state. It seems, to me, to be closer to contentment. A more elevated form of contentment, perhaps, but closer to that. Contentment is a state of general satisfaction, and happiness seems to be the higher form of that.
I'm not saying that this is the very definition of happiness. I'm just trying to discover what true happiness is. After all, that person is still waiting for me to answer them. HaHa!
I'd like to hear what you think. Two questions: (1) What do you think true happiness is? (2) By that definition, are you happy?
Let me know in the comments below, and feel free to share with others. I'd like to keep the conversation going.