What is happiness?

In my college philosophy classes we’ve been learning about how the Ancient Romans used to justify the existence of God. To sum this up quickly, instead of telling us what God “is”, they tell us what he “is not”. For  example, they tell us that God is not visible, or tangible, or material in form. I think the same logic process can be applied to happiness, because there is no textbook answer as to what it is, but along my path I have discovered a few things it certainly is not.

A comprehensive list of what it is not:

  1. Money: Seriously Aisling? No one is sad on a yacht. Yeah yeah, we’ve heard this before, but honestly, we can always find ways to do what we love (travelling, being stylish, you-name-it) on a budget. Use your google skills, get up your ass and find out how to do just that.
  2. Power: It tends to draw those who love you away, and then all that’s left of you is a sad fucking loner.
  3. Romantic Relationships: If you feel like you need one to make you complete then you’re probably fucked up and codependent, learn to be fully happy with yourself first.
  4. Sex: If you’re doing it to prove to yourself you are worthy, then you’re no better than the perpetrators of number 3 on this list. You WILL scar yourself emotionally.
  5. Success: Let’s be real, we all want this. But if you’ve been doing all in your power, and you just don’t seem to get there, don’t beat yourself up. All you need is a change of strategy.
  6. Beauty: It might make life easier, but when it consumes your thought, it is deadlier than poison. Models happen to be some of the most insecure people out there, because their entire life centers on their physical traits.

I might not be as radical as Cicero, but I do agree with something he thought: If you learn to be happy with poverty, you are rich. In other words, if you learn to be happy with your imperfect life, then everything else on that list is just a fucking bonus.

Aisling A.

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