What is Happiness?

Happiness and exploring, endeavoring, and embracing happiness has been a big part of my life and healing, especially in the last fifteen  years and even more so since starting my blog almost five years ago. For a long time I have believed that finding and embracing our happiness, on many levels, is an important and essential part of healing from child sexual abuse, as I do believe it is anyone’s important and essential part of living their life. So it seems natural to pick happiness as the main topic for the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse for this edition.

Healing Quotes 35

“To find your own way is to follow your own bliss. This involves analysis, watching yourself and seeing where the real deep bliss is–  not the quick little excitement, but the real, deep, life-filling bliss.”
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~ Joseph Campbell
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Joseph Campbell, when asked what his bliss was, replied that his bliss was his wife/partner.
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Finding your own bliss and happiness can be very difficult, for anyone, but even more so for a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Few of us survivors grew up in an environment where we were safe enough and content enough in our lives to fully have the opportunities to explore our own self and personal happiness, joy, and bliss.
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Boundaries are a big part of finding our happiness. Boundaries are often something that survivors of abuse were not allowed to have as children and do not have a good sense of as adults. Often our families of origin and the people that we have allowed into our lives do not want us to have healthy boundaries and that creates further difficulties and challenges in finding the effort, energy, time and ability to explore our boundaries.
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Boundaries are not just rules that we have for ourselves and how others treat us. Boundaries are also what we love, what we like, what we hate, what we loathe, what we will allow and not allow into our lives, what kind of treatment we will allow and not allow into our lives, what we value and deem important in our lives, our morals, our ethics, our personal belief system. All of those contribute to our sense of self and how we engage in the world and how we explore, find, and embrace personal moments of happiness.
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I started my journey on finding what gave me happiness and bliss by making up a bliss list, suggested by the author Jennifer Louden from the book “A Woman’s Comfort Book.” Happiness, I believe, is in the little things and the big things. I started trying to find some of those.
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“Follow your bliss.  ~ Joseph Campbell
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bliss–noun
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1. supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment.
2. Theology. the joy of heaven.
3. heaven; paradise: the road to eternal bliss
4.Archaic. a cause of great joy or happiness.”Here are links to our bliss lists.
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Do you have a list? Do you have things that you know bring you bliss, comfort, happiness?Figuring out how to embrace my bliss and to follow them were hard. I unfortunately butted up against the negative programming from my mother abuser through this process. I am happy to say that I have found a lot of healing in this area. I know now that I deserve my bliss and happiness and with just as strong of a conviction I know that you do as well.
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One thing that Barbara Sher, the inspirational author, said in one of her seminars comes back to me over and over. She suggests that if you don’t know what you like and love and what you want to do, then take the opportunity throughout the day to rate everything you come across in a day on a scale of one to ten, ten being the things that bring you the highest level of happiness and enjoyment.
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If you would like a book to help you through the process of helping and healing through the process of finding your personal happiness I would suggest the book “Finding Your Own North Star” by Martha Beck. I love that book. It was unfortunate that there wasn’t a book out there that I found until after I had done a lot of my work on my own, but I highly recommend this book. It is wonderful and does a step by step process to assist anyone.

One thought on “What is Happiness?

  1. Hi Kate,
    Thanks so much for sharing this. As someone in a similar position, your words really resonate with me. Learning to communicate healthy boundaries is a huge step for me and I see how it has impacted my life as a whole. Thanks again!
    Best,
    Amita Patel

    Like

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