"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
~ Declaration of Independence
An armadillo shell lies on my back deck. I gave up tossing it into the woods. The dogs just kept bringing it back.
But all the stinky part is gone, and it makes Max and Belle happy, snacking on it like a huge pork rind, so I just leave it.
Happiness is more elusive for us humans, though, isn't it? Even the Declaration of Independence refers to "the pursuit" of happiness as an inalienable right, not happiness itself.
I blame BlogHer for making me so philosophical about happiness today. Their Life Well Lived "Getting Happy" question of the week is What are your favorite resources for increasing and sustaining happiness?
But how do you get happy to begin with?
"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
I love that quote. Our happiness can't depend on things or people or circumstances, but on our attitudes about them. It has to come from the inside.
That's easier said than done, of course. That's why there are so many therapists.
"No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives us time and space. It's up to us to fill it with joy and meaning."
~from a poster of pithy inspirational quotes that hangs in my bathroom and I love very much
Over time I've discovered three things that fill my life with joy and meaning, and therefore serve as the bedrock for my happiness and the answer to BlogHer's question:
Giving. Loving. Appreciating.
No matter what happens to us in life, no matter how little control we have over people or events or circumstances, we can always love (well, you might have to ask God to help)... we always have something to give, even if it's just our time or our prayers... and we can always find at least one little thing to appreciate, to give thanks for, even if it's just the chance to start over with a new day.
"Even if happiness forgets you for a little bit, never completely forget about it."
~ Jaques Prevert
Want to read more of my thoughts on happiness? I wrote about it almost four years ago HERE. It's a pretty good post, even if I do say so myself.