Happiness as the absence of pain

Happiness can be a fairly abstract concept that is hard to define. It’s something I’m constantly striving for, and at times I think Annie Proux might be right. Her book The Shipping News teaches the lesson that true happiness is just the absence of pain.

As she says: “that is what most of us settle for in life -- a situation that may not be ecstatically glorious and joyful but is nonetheless not painful.”

I am finding life quite painful right now, but there are lots of things that are helping me to get through that pain.

  1. I know that it is only temporary. I have gone through this and worse before. I am resilient and will come out the other side.

  2. I have incredible people around me, who I can lean on for support. I’m held up on the shoulders of so many family members and friends - and people in my Instagram.

  3. Doing activity that gets positive chemicals flowing in my body. Running, bushwalking, lying in the sunshine, barefoot walking, breathing in the sea and bush, meditation, yoga, pilates, hugs.

I keep thinking back to just before this current patch and how I was feeling. It’s incredible how much you can take for granted feeling normal.

I’m wishing very hard for a return to normal, where I can find happiness again, in the absence of pain.

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