Sunday, 26 February 2012

an enigmatic state!?

Happiness. Contentment. Joy. Pleasure. These are words we throw around, but I wonder if rarely do we really think about them and mean them? Understand them? Feel them. Is it a matter of subjectivity or perspective. In part I think yes, but I also believe in general terms the measure is the same yardstick of feeling. Of emotion.

Moannie and I were recently talking about the value of these words. Of how we of course aspire and hope. To feel them. The real deal.

We often innaely dribble out these words, about how happiness is all we want to feel. For ourselves. For our children. For mankind. Humanity. But it is such an elusive and transitory state . A state of mind that is transitory at best. Not available by request. It does not keep us alive. Though these states do nurture and nourish us. Keep us on track. A carrot to keep us on the road of hope.

I do not believe that happiness is a state of mind. I believe that happiness is a momentary state. More slippery than many its contemporaries. Mithering about the lack of happiness in our lives, like feeling regretful is not purposeful nor is it aspirational. It cannot be brought about by desire. It just happens. It is the purist of emotions. An undiluted mix of pleasure & joy.

Contentment is a state of mind, for me. Attainable. Brick by brick we can build ourselves a warm blanket of contentment, safety and security. It is personal. A matter of perspective.

Joy is an emotion we can experience by recall. Of memory. Sparked by music, a song, a letter, a moment past. We can relive. By choice. At our own request.

Pleasure is immediate. Pleasure is Food. Art. Books. Physical. Family. Sex. Breathing life. Different pleasures for us all. Pleasure can be cultivated. Seeded. Ploughed and harvested. Replanted. Bought or home grown. Borrowed. Bought. Given away.

A droplet of contentment, a rash of happiness, a storm of joy, a blanket of good fortune or a flush of pleasure.

I wonder which state do you yearn for?

Moment by moment...


  1. Beautifully written Saz.

    I do believe happiness is fleeting and as such, is to be savoured when it appears. Appreciated!

    I believe contentment probably happens when we appreciate what we have and stop hankering after things. Here, among the rubble and fear we have learned that the most important things in life are not things... but we have also realised how important feeling safe at home, work, shopping are, and the need to be warm, sheltered and secure; for many people that is years off and I feel grateful for these things.
    And after scattering the ashes of my ex husband yesterday, and the issues his death raised for us all, I am so thankful to still be here. There are many evenings when I feel contented and it is worth savouring.

    Hi to Moannie too :) xx

  2. Super the other week I had a happy morning, an email from someone plummeted that mood as I knew what the outcome would be, and it was what I feared, but after talking to them it was ok, but the unknown the fear from the email to the call really killed my happy mood.

  3. I've given up striving for constant happiness, overall contentment is what I use as my 'is it generally ok' benchmark.

  4. Wow. I have never thought about which of those things I yearn for the most. But thank you ... I shall ponder it as I go to sleep tonight!!!

  5. Contentment has a definite allure.

  6. Contentment can last for ever, the rest are just fleeting experiences.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. WOW. I have thought about these things from time to time, but never put them down in writing. I think you have analysed these different states perfectly.

    The right to the pursuit of happiness is a right enshrined in the US constitution - I wonder how much damage this sense of entitlement has done to Western culture? My view is possibly that "happiness" is a physical thing, connected with warm puppies, maybe, and certainly with physical fitness and wellbeing.

    A sense of innate "rightness", that one has done one's best to balance one's own needs with those of the rest of the world, is what I am left with after pondering.

  8. I'll settle for contentment (the cup of tea) with a dash of happiness (the milk) and some joy (two sugars) for good measure.

    Hope all is well - love to Moannie,

  9. I know you won't mind, I've quoted you on my blog today and asked the same question of my readers. I wonder what answers they'll come up with?


Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x