I was recently challenged by a fellow blogger (http://invitedbygrace.com/) to write about what makes me happy and it got me thinking about the meaning of happiness and how we go about finding it.

It seems to me that happiness is often closer than we think. We are just too busy, too preoccupied, too worried, sick or tired to realize it. Happiness is actually very simple but somehow we make it complicated. We think we have to travel to far off lands in some ridiculous quest to find it.

All the while, happiness is there, wherever we are, quietly waiting for us to stop and see it. Happiness doesn’t come from things. It doesn’t come from fame and it doesn’t come from material success. Sure, having the finer things in life is nice. It brings with it an ease those without it might lack, but if we mistake ease for happiness, we won’t know true joy.

So when I think about what makes me happy…utterly, truly and completely happy, two things come to mind. The first is that happiness is all in my head. It is something I can choose be no matter my circumstances. I don’t have to go somewhere to find it. It is within me and there is where it waits quietly to be found.

The second thing is that happiness is uncomplicated. It boils down to one word. Awareness. When I seek to be aware, I find my bliss and for me it is pretty straightforward; I am happy when I take time to appreciate what I have instead of what I lack. It is all about perspective.

For me, happiness is to love and to be loved.