I must confess…happiness is
I finally got around to watching Disney Pixar’s Inside Out this weekend. We didn’t have a chance to see it when it was first released due to my Dad’s illness and eventual death. It was one of those movies that I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch without being overwhelmed by strong emotions at the time. Silly to put off seeing a kids film in case it got too much, but that’s exactly how it worked out.
It was worth the wait – it was a fabulous film and all the hype was well deserved. I loved the story, the characters, the emotions and the many layers of imagination and creativity that came together to bring Riley’s mind to life.
What I loved the most, however, was the eventual conclusion that no one emotion is better or worse than another. They are all valid, they all have their place and they all have a purpose.
I really liked how Joy eventually came to value Sadness and realised that sadness was as necessary to Riley as the happiness that she herself brought along. I think it was bittersweet to see how a single memory could be seen through both a sad and happy lense.
This revelation has struck a chord with me this week as we tackle the confession prompt of “happiness is…”
Happiness is not a single layered emotion. Happiness can be combined with a whole host of other emotions which in some ways, actually enriches its overall emotional pull. For instance, happiness can be combined with excitement, anxiety and nervousness when a long awaited event finally takes place. Or happiness can also come with a side of sad remembrance when recalling happier times with a long lost loved one.
Or happiness can be especially sweet once achieved after much pain, hard work and disappointment.
I could have written all the cliched things that make me happy – family, exercise, friends, the beach, writing, etc. But I think the real sources of happiness and joy in my life come from the flipside of pain, sadness and anger. Just as they are shown through Riley’s experiences in Inside Out.
For me, happiness is…
- spending time with my mum & my brother. I appreciate Mum all the more now that Dad is no longer here. I enjoy her company and rely on her strength and experience. I appreciate my brother all the more after all the hours we sat together in hospital. I enjoy his sense of humour and am proud of his genuine devotion to his family.
My family in happier times – my nephew, Mum, brother and my Dad x
- thinking of my Dad. It’s dreaming of him whole again. It’s imagining him speaking to me in his real voice, telling me a funny story or sharing an inappropriate joke. It’s feeling at one with him in spirit. It’s knowing he would be proud of us and how we are progressing though life. It’s having a drink for him and holding his flannelette jacket tight.
Dad’s shirt, hanging in my wardrobe
- those little milestones that are a long time coming but finally achieved after a long, hard road. It’s seeing Gilbert accept an award on stage with his trademark bopping and dancing on the way up. It’s seeing Matilda playing with fellow female cub scouts and spending an outing being social and having fun. Happiness is particularly sweet when seeing the kids achieve and thrive despite their diagnoses.
Gilbert & Matilda with Evie
- watching Delilah grow in confidence and independence, despite the sadness that lingers as she leaves her preschool days behind her. It’s seeing her interact with her friends. It’s hearing her excitement when talking about her school buddy. It’s knowing that she is ready to progress to big school, even though I feel like desperately clinging to her long lost days of babyhood & toddlerhood.
Delilah has already lost her first tooth!
- long talks with Nathan, even though they are tinged with discontent about our current state of being. There is a sense of purpose and hope whenever we talk about our future plans and our dreams for our family. Happiness is there in our shared goals for the future, even though we still have a long way to go to achieve them.
- helping others come to terms with diagnoses in their own families. It’s being able to suggest services or websites or specialists who may be able to assist. Amidst the pain, confusion and devastation of a diagnosis, I find a level of happiness and satisfaction in being able to help take some of the load off and provide a small measure of support to those who need it.
- hosting this linkup and the facebook group. Not every confession is light and fluffy – there are a lot that are not happy at all. But it makes me feel fulfilled and satisfied to give people the chance to be truthful and real. It makes me happy to see the amazing support given to everyone who takes the leap and makes a confession. The situations are not always happy ones but the support is always genuine and it makes me feel good to see such a caring and sharing community.
So, for me, happiness can be complicated. It can come from the most unexpected places and from the most unpromising of situations. But that’s what makes it all the more special and all the more worthwhile when it comes my way.
What is happiness to you?
Link up your post for some #imustconfess love and find out what everyone else is confessing this week.
And don’t forget to join in with our #imustconfess community over on facebook. It’s where the confessing continues beyond the linkup. And the best part? You don’t even need to blog or be a blogger to take part!
– I Must Confess is a link up that runs every Monday and remains live for the whole week.
– You can link up something old or new, we’re not fussy around here.
– Feel free to go with the prompt for the week or add your own confession, whatever suits.
– Please go forth and share the comment love – it is bloggy crack after all!
– We’re always open to suggestions for the weekly prompt (I’m compiling prompts for 2016 – so please share your ideas with me!)
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