Deep happiness

Liz Avatar
Thanks to gubgib for the image.
Thanks to gubgib for the image.

I am happy.

It’s taken me so long to say that, but I am finally happy, in a way that is deeply joyful, happy in a way that feels more like long-lasting joy than happiness in say, finding the perfect pair of shoes which so often the sort of short, temporal lift I get when thinking about life and happiness—it all feels so fleeting.

This all occurred to me several mornings ago when I woke up, randomly, at 2:30am.  And I wasn’t wide awake, but sort of woke up with a jolt, and couldn’t go back to bed right away.

So, I thought about some things, thought about some other things, and then thought about just at that moment, how deeply blessed and grateful I was for this life, this exact life.  Which, if you’re anything like me, is amazing.  If you’re anything like me, some days you wish for someone else’s life, maybe someone who has it more together, is more organized, is less prone to over think and more naturally joyful.

If you’re anything like me,you tend to think your life needs to be a lot more Pinterest and Facebook-worthy, just some how a more beautiful and Photoshopped version of what you have and who you are, and before you know it, the comparison bug is biting you in the leg again.

But this morning was different.  It was a true appreciation for exactly where I am now, for exactly what I have now, and no, we’ve haven’t just all the sudden become millionaires. No, our lives are suddenly perfect.  Yes, there is still confusion and chaos and disappointment and disorganization running rampantly and abundantly in our lives.

But this feeling, this thought was so real and tangible I wanted to hold it, keep it forever: a deep, simple of sense of gratitude and contentment for a wonderful husband, this strange and yet familiar relationship of being a wife, parent, and a person maybe finally becoming comfortable in her own skin.

And knowing that all of this is good, even knowing what I know is to inevitable come: more temper tantrums, dirty diapers, loose teeth, arguments, sibling rivalry, work-life balance negotiations, difficult choices and going through growing pains and all the other things that come with what it means to be a family.

That this is good, come changes in fortune, luck, seasons and those days I blatantly misjudge and  feel like I’m getting the backhand of God instead of the usual open-handed fullness I feel from Him.

That this is good, no matter what changes or what stays annoyingly the same, that this, this mess and beauty that is life, is all good.

And I’ve been taken aback at how this feeling was so refreshingly simple, deep, and yet so full all at the same time.

All my life I’ve been chasing at meaning, happiness, grasping empty-handed at this full-of-life feeling, vivacity, like it was some complicated algorithm that I was never going to be smart enough to understand.

And I’ve realized now, it’s not. Not that complicated. The one who has complicated it has been me. This feeling-it’s just a deep appreciation for where you are, with who you are, and who you are with, regardless of how many piles of laundry that it brings, how many toddler negotiations you have to deal with, regardless of the dust, clutter, dancing and weeping and all that comes with, some days like unfriendly barnacles, the joy of family life.

Simple happiness.  Dare I say contentedness. Who would have guessed?

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