How Losing Someone Can Teach Us The Importance Of Pursuing Happiness

by Caroline Hughes

I lost my dad to cancer during my last semester of college. He was healthy, virtuous and happy. After it happened, I assumed that my previously blissful existence would be devastated forever. Anyone who has lost a parent or loved one can relate to the guessing game of whether or not happiness will ever again be a personal reality.

What is happiness?

What is this thing that we all seem to be chasing? Is it success, relationships, money or status? They’re all so easily lost, so difficult to obtain and even harder to maintain. I’d assume most answers to the question of what one seeks to glean from life would allude to some definition or understanding of happiness. Upon losing my dad, my life became a struggle and happiness grew further and further from my reach.

A big part of finding happiness is to remember that, ultimately, happiness is a fight. It isn’t easy and requires both work and dedication. Sometimes the happiest people are the ones who understand this struggle and embrace it with open arms. They are not always the most wealthy, talented, smart or beautiful; they simply understand the importance of finding contentment in any situation they encounter.

How do you fight for happiness?

Adopt a healthy attitude and embrace the reality that sometimes life will take a big dump on your plans. You must decide to move forward regardless — you must breathe through the struggles and imperfections. Don’t allow your initial emotions or reactions to dictate the outcome. Adopt the mindset that as long as you’re alive, you will fight to be well and you will not allow any terrible circumstance or negative attitude navigate your path.

How many times have you thought to yourself, “nothing is necessarily wrong, but I’m still not as happy as I could be?” We are all guilty of this lucky problem. Having everything but still desiring more is a plague of people who are unsatisfied and unchallenged. Why does this occur? Why do we choose to overlook a sea of good to find a grain of bad? For all you dwellers out there, you know how tough it is to move past something negative. The solution? Don’t dwell. Fight to get over it. Fight to rid yourself of the bad even if it takes every single ounce of your energy.

Perhaps you don’t have everything and feel unhappy. Keep in mind that circumstances are uncontrollable. Life will always happen but happiness does not discriminate — it is available to anyone who chooses to claim it.

Adjust your attitude.

The ways in which we fight for happiness surface in our actions when we face tough situations. It is always easier to be a whiny, woe-is-me baby when things don’t go your way than to choose to be pragmatically optimistic. It might feel a bit unnatural, but immediately exercising some positive spin on a bad circumstance will help to uphold stamina in the healing process. Soon, you will have achieved an attitude overhaul that will provide you with a stronger capacity for dealing with the hard stuff.

So I ask again: What is happiness and what is its purpose? Even when it seems that happiness should be obvious and existent, it can be difficult to find and identify. But, in my personal battle with happiness after losing my father, I found it to be worth the trouble. Feeling genuinely happy is a reminder that life is good, short and meant to be enjoyed.

Decide to fight.

So, fight for it; always keep it in your head and heart. Wake up knowing that this life can be rough, but that happiness can make everything worth the struggle.

Photo via We Heart It