Are You Happy?

Optical IllusionIt’s been a tough time.  My Dad died a few weeks ago, and the sadness – and busy-ness – has engulfed us.

Yet, in between the moments of darkness, there has been much to find joy in. The coming of Spring. Blue skies. Gardens filling with life and colour. Even messages of warmth, and fond memories from people that knew my father. And flowers. Lots of flowers.

Tomorrow is International Day of Happiness.  It’s also my birthday.  How fabulous is that? To combine a birthday with a day to celebrate happiness! Even in the midst of grief, it is possible to find the positive and the joy.

Yet sometimes we humans seem hard-wired to only notice the negative or the difficult.  We home in on the things that have happened to us that are unfair. We notice the mistakes we’ve made. We fear things that might go wrong even when we cannot know that they will.

Look a bit closer, and usually there’s another story.  We start to see the things that have gone well. The ways in which we have found pleasure. The bright future that awaits us, if we change our approach or attitude.

It’s a funny thing.  This world is full of pain, grief, conflict and suffering.  It’s also full of positivity, happiness,  pleasure and joy.

Like an optical illusion, it just depends which way you look at it.

Which way do you choose?


16 Responses to Are You Happy?

  1. Julie Bagshaw March 19, 2019 at 4:48 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this Elizebeth, it’s lovely you can still see the wonderful things around you, even through your grief. Hope you do have a happy day tomorrow ❤️

    • Elizabeth Juffs March 20, 2019 at 4:39 pm #

      Thank you Julie. That’s kind of you. And today’s sunshine is just adding to the pleasure of the day!

  2. Catherine Shaw March 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm #

    Thank you Elizabeth for your post. I agree it is always good to see the things we have and can be grateful for. Life can throw challenges and it is lovely to see yor article when you have had to deal with grief with your father having passed away.
    Happy Birthday tomorrow. I did not know it was lnternational Day of Happiness.

    • Elizabeth Juffs March 20, 2019 at 4:39 pm #

      Thank you for you comment and kind birthday wishes, Catherine. It somehow feels very appropriate that my birthday is also International Happiness Day too – what a great way to remind me not to dwell on the sadness, but to enjoy the happy stuff!

  3. Chris Gray March 19, 2019 at 5:28 pm #

    Yes, thank you for sharing this. It’s so helpful to be reminded that there is much that is good and beautiful to be found even in the midst of deep sadness, such as yours, and in what feels like a very fragmented and unhappy world at the moment. I am finding the example of the NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, really helpful just now. Have a very happy birthday!

    • Elizabeth Juffs March 20, 2019 at 4:37 pm #

      Thank you Chris. Happy and sunny birthday happening (even though tinged with sadness)! Really interesting to hear the approach of Jacinda Ardern – very refreshing.

  4. Mon March 19, 2019 at 8:14 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Liz. Thanks for sharing this and so sorry to hear about your loss. It’s very true what you said it’s just depends on which way we look at…

    • Elizabeth Juffs March 20, 2019 at 4:35 pm #

      Thank you Mon. I’m having a lovely day even though it’s sad my Dad isn’t around to share it. But the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I have fabulous birthday messages from lots of lovely people like yourself!

  5. Jennifer March 19, 2019 at 10:20 pm #

    Happy birthday to you Elizabeth. It’s my birthday tomorrow too. Two years ago I lost my mum. It wS a very miserable birthday that year but time does heal and I remember the happy times. I hope you manage to have a nice day despite your liss. Thinking of you xx

    • Elizabeth Juffs March 20, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

      Thank you Jennifer. A very happy birthday to you too! I hope you are having a good day, and enjoying good memories of your mum.

  6. Jessica March 19, 2019 at 10:30 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your dad and your grief. Thinking of you and hoping that grief and sadness will soon be replaced by happy and fond memories of your dad and the times you shared.
    Wishing you a lovely birthday on such a wonderful date
    I love that story:)

    • Elizabeth Juffs March 20, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

      That’s very kind of you Jessica. I already do have lovely memories of my Dad, even though it feels sad he is no longer around. And the sun has shone all day too…how wonderful is that!

  7. Andrea March 19, 2019 at 10:43 pm #

    Much love to you. You have taught me a lot about this recently and I cannot thank you enough. A very happy birthday for tomorrow x

    • Elizabeth Juffs March 20, 2019 at 4:32 pm #

      A pleasure, Andrea. It has been a delight coaching you. Thank you for your birthday wishes. Very kind.

  8. Matt Munro March 20, 2019 at 8:23 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your dad, but not surprised one bit that you are remaining positive and ‘Liz’ about it. Amazing that you are keeping perspective in what must be a very difficult time. I’m sure your dad would be very proud to know what a powerful impact his daughter has had on so many people.
    Hope you have had a lovely (and happy of course) birthday. Thinking of you x

    • Elizabeth Juffs March 21, 2019 at 8:20 am #

      Thank you, Matt. That’s very kind. Lovely birthday had, complete with lots of sunshine!

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