Celebrating the Unlimited Nature of Happiness


I used to believe that there was a limited  supply of happiness in the world.  For far too long, I truly believed that my having any happiness at all snatched it from the life of someone else, someone who was probably far more deserving or in need of it.  So, being the good person I am, I spent a lot of years feeling fairly miserable and guilty.

Until I finally had the big realization.  Happiness?   It’s not a seat on the bus, people!  Graciously saying no thank you to your happiness doesn’t leave it available to anyone else.

Because, while the supply of it is unlimited, happiness is person-specific.  My happiness, unclaimed, will do you no good at all.  Your happiness, unclaimed, cannot be picked up by any other suffering soul.

So, please, get out there and claim your happiness.  And if, in the middle of enjoying a moment, you find yourself thinking of the suffering millions, understand that your smile, your little bubble of  ‘life is good’ isn’t actually adding to their misery.

Do the good you want to do in the world, yes.  Be sensitive to the sorrows and sadness of those around you, absolutely.  Be gracious in your happiness, yes.

But, for goodness’ sake, claim your happiness.  You’re the only one who can.

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9 Responses to Celebrating the Unlimited Nature of Happiness

  1. Kathleen Mockler says:

    🙂 this one put a big smile on my face!

  2. Barb McMahon says:

    I’m so glad!

  3. Mary says:

    Barb, this is probably the key to peace in the world.
    But it take courage to be happy.
    Too often when I feel particularly happy I think “oh oh, something bad is going to happen”- and of course, it eventually does but not because of my being happy in the moment.
    Yes, the world needs happy people!

    • Barb McMahon says:

      The good things alternate with the bad, so we might as well enjoy the good things as much as we can.

      But you’re right, it does take courage to be happy. And strength, too, sometimes. Maybe with practice, as we strengthen our happiness muscles…

  4. margaret says:

    this spoke to me perfectly today, Barb. thank you.

  5. Barb McMahon says:

    Thank you Margaret. Hope you have a great weekend!

  6. Florin says:

    happiness isn’t a thing you can claim. you can choose to let go of all negativity and be happy for no reason.
    of course you have to earn the knowledge of being happy for no reason forever. 😀

  7. Janet M says:

    Hmm…I have to agree with Barb on the issue of claiming happiness. Happiness and negativity don’t necessarily lie on opposite ends of the same spectrum. One can choose to be extremely happy about one thing while at the SAME TIME being extremely sad about something else.

    Happiness also doesn’t equal a mere absence of negative thoughts. Our emotions are our responses to the things that happen around us. Ridding ourselves of negative thoughts will only allow us to be “non-negative”. It takes an extra, and different, step to choose happiness.

  8. Barb McMahon says:

    Kind of like good health is more than the mere absence of disease…

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