Happiness doesn't come in a jar or on a hanger; it doesn't come with an automatic transmission, 4 doors, and a leather interior; happiness isn't anything you can buy or get from a store or some trendy boutique. Happiness truly does come from within. If our happiness was contingent upon external circumstances, it would not be our own; it would belong to the products, to the situations that manufactured it.
If you're only happy when life is going your way and people all adore you, what will happen when your so-called friends abandon you and it's been one of those weeks when everything has gone wrong? Life isn't always shiny and bright; sometimes it's one miserable situation after another in a long series of unfortunate events and no pair of designer jeans is going to make it better; YOU have to make it better!
I rarely (if ever) talk about the most important person in my life (no offense Mom and Dad) and maybe I should because he's my inspiration, my best friend, my guardian angel; his name is Stuart and he was the most incredible person I've ever known; he was also one of the happiest. Stuart wasn't some rich guy leading a charmed life though...I met Stuart when his sister posted a help wanted ad for a caregiver for him. The first time I met Stuart, he was lying motionless in his bed, covered by his favorite green blanket and staring at the ceiling; his every breath made possible by the endlessly beeping ventilator forcing air into his lungs via the tube stuck down his trachea. For years Stuart was truly a prisoner in his own body, only he didn't get a fair trial: no judge, no jury, just a devastating disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) that left him unable to move, breathe, or even swallow. He couldn't eat his favorite food or experience the simple pleasure of a hot shower after a long day; and when he had a miserable, pain-filled day, he couldn't even hug someone. Yet Stuart was the happiest, most amazing man I have ever known. He never complained or felt sorry for himself; in fact, he was constantly sending out Thank You cards to anyone and everyone who had made his life better. Instead of focusing on the negative, Stuart was always thinking about the positive! He used to have me open his window on a stormy day so he could smell the rain in the air; he watched old Western movies so he could see all of the beautiful scenery...Stuart was trapped in a dying body for so many years and yet he brought so much life, so much joy to those around him; he did so much from his place in a hospital bed in a small room that he would never leave.
Stuart has made me the happy person that I am today; he saw the very best in me, only the best, and refused to see anything else; he believed in me with all of his heart, and his optimism, his happiness, was infectious. Stuart often said that the long talks and "moments of great joy" that we shared together were in a place where the disease (ALS) could never touch: in his heart.
So I guess my message for all of you loyal readers, is that, in a world driven by consumerism and fueled by chaos, true happiness comes from within.