We are in the midst of the holiday season when we’re supposed to feel happy and joyful. For many people, the holidays are a dismal time. Depression, despair, and sadness abound. I’ve experienced these feeling and I know how hard it can be. I felt a deep sense of loss during the holidays immediately after my divorce. It was difficult to wake up in an empty apartment on Christmas morning when I was used to hearing my children’s laughter and excitement as we opened presents. Not being able to share that experience was devastating.
Fortunately, I’m on the road to healing from this trauma and I’ve learning to find joy in everyday moments. Thousands of books have been written on the secret to happiness, but Alexander Chalmers has summed it up in a simple sentence:
The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. — Alexander Chalmers
I would like to share the ways that these essentials have worked in my life to provide me with a constant feeling of happiness:
Something to Do
In additional to running this website, I also operate a marketing agency and a commercial and residential cleaning company. Although juggling all of these responsibilities is stressful at times, it is also fulfilling. I enjoy meeting new people and giving them words of encouragement. However, I do not allow people to define me by my profession. My work is a means to an end. It is not who I am. If I never held another job in my life, I’d still have something to do: serve people in the community; work on issues that are important to me such as homelessness, education, and HIV/AIDS; write, and create art. These are the things that make me happy and define me as a person.
Someone to Love
Love is risky and can tear your heart apart. But it can also fulfill the desires of your soul and allow you to experience unbridled joy. Sometimes we feel as if we don’t deserve to be loved. But that is a lie! Love is a gift that we are all worthy of receiving. I am thankful that I am loved unconditionally my friends, my family, and my partner. I’m also thankful that I can return the same love to them.
Something to Hope For
My children give me hope. Their eyes are my looking glass into the future. There is so much possibility and wonder in their faces; so many things to accomplish. I hope and pray that they will realize their full potential and make a difference in the world. It is my responsibility as their father to equip them and give them the tools for success. My legacy lives on through them.
I hope you experience love, peace, and happiness this holiday season.