Monday, August 24, 2015

Happiness Isn’t the Absence of Negative Feelings

Happiness feels intolerably elusive for many of us. Like fog, you can see it from afar, dense and full of shape. But upon approach, its particles loosen and suddenly it becomes out of reach, even though it's all around you.

We put so much emphasis on the pursuit of happiness, but if you stop and think about it, to pursue is to chase something without a guarantee of ever catching it.

Up until about six years ago, I was fervently and ineffectively chasing happiness. My husband, Jim, and I were living in San Jose, California, with our two-year-old son and a second baby on the way. On paper, our life appeared rosy. Still, I couldn't seem to find the joy. I always felt so guilty about my sadness. My problems were embarrassingly "first world."

Then in September 2009, my world tilted. Jim fell severely ill. He was diagnosed withSwine Flu (H1N1) and West Nile (NOS), then Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), due to his compromised immune system.


https://hbr.org/2015/08/happiness-isnt-the-absence-of-negative-feelings


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