Can happiness make you happy?

By Julia Fernandes

June 16, 2011


When I view birthday greetings on cards, on messages, the most popular wish I observe is, "May you always be happy in life." I myself make this wish for my friends and family members (chuckle). It has become such a routine that I don’t think anybody has every stopped and thought, is it really possible for someone to be happy always?


I admit happiness is on everybody's wishlist; we all want to be happy. C’mon, who does not want to? But has anybody ever wondered is it practically possible to live in a Zen-like state, perpetually happy and blissful every single day of your life? Can such blanket happiness really, really make one happy?


I mean imagine if this wish for me had come true, I would get up in the morning with a silly grin on my face. Usually when I first awake in the morning, I need some 'Me' time, even if it just for five minutes so that I can adjust the orientation of my body and mind that I have got up from sleep. I cannot imagine getting up from my sleep with the feeling of being happy! The first feeling of blankness and nothingness when I get up in the morning is actually so nice!


We experience a wide array of emotions, positive as well as negative. All emotions have their place in the grand scheme of things. Emotions, such as sadness and sorrow when assimilated with wisdom and understanding bring out a caring human being. Sufferings enable us to open our hearts and minds to the struggles of other people. It teaches us to be more compassionate and makes us reach out to those who are equally in pain. Strong emotion such as anger teaches me to value peace after my anger has subsided. I rarely get angry, but when I do fly off the handle, I realize my error and this in turn helps me to alter my behaviour in future.


Yet, why do we emphasize only on one emotion -- happiness? Why do we ignore the other emotions or resist the negative ones? Every negative emotion can teach us something if only we allow it to. Likewise, every positive emotion can bring out something truly beautiful in us. All emotions when allowed to run its full course in our lives, proportionately, enable us to create our own little Heaven on Earth!


We need not hanker only after happiness; rather welcome every emotion and experience and allow it to enrich our lives by first identifying it, then acknowledging it and then finally releasing it. And most importantly be grateful for what every emotion teaches you. It is only when we have a full bank of emotions that life becomes like a rainbow -- colourful and multi-hued.


So, the next time I have to send a birthday greeting to someone, this is what I will probably wish:


A little sunshine

A little rain

Little joys

And little pain

I make this small wish for you

And hope it all comes true