Posts Tagged With: happiness


What makes you happy? Seems like a simple question right? Yet so many are unhappy. Why do you think that is?

When I was younger, I tried to help people with what made them happy. Only to see them be happy for a short time, and revert back to the anger, sadness, depression, etc., that made me look closer at what happiness really is. In doing that, I looked at what brought that bright warm feeling into my heart and made it stay there, and tried to see that in others. Of course what made me happy didn’t apply across the board, but true happiness can be across the board in many ways.

I looked at how I felt when I bought something useful, when I bought an impulse buy, when a pretty girl flirted with me, when a good man saw good in me, when grandparents were proud of me, when I made something with my own two hands and skill, when I ate a food that tasted really good, when I drank pure water, when I sat and listened to the old ones telling stories.

I put all these together because as I understood when I was younger, they all caused happiness of some sort. What I realized as I grew up was some things fulfill a want, stroke your ego, play on an insecurity, these things do not bring happiness, but they do provide a strange form of release.

This release, in the feeling of it, is not unlike sexual climax for that alone, no good emotion associated with it. I chased after this for a few years, some of the darkest years of my life. I’ve been in extreme emotional pain, great physical pain, but that is a part of life, and not a darkness like you bring on yourself when you pursue the satisfaction of the moment.

I’m watching my newest niece sleep. I was trying my special uncle way to get her to burp earlier and was enjoying her smile, me making noises and watching her furrow her brow in concentration, then her little mouth moving trying to figure it out. She’s two months old, her little smile is happiness. It fills me up, and overflows, for lack of a better description.

This happiness is a gift. Nothing can replace the inner peace and utter joy a little one brings. When I was around grandmothers who were good women, there was another equal joy and peace they brought, the same with one of my grandfathers.

There are so many things in this life that bring happiness I have never experienced. But what I have experienced is that true happiness is given by others through our good actions towards them. True happiness also comes from us accepting the good things that come, like a newborn baby.

I would like to hear from others on what brings them true happiness. Even the smallest things like watching a hawk fly, or a rabbit eat a clover flower, or the way the sky changes colors as the sun rises and sets.

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Men and love

I just finished reading a book by Wilma Mankiller titled everyday is a good day. For those of you who don’t know, Wilma was a chief of our people, specifically the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma. One of the best chiefs we’ve had in recent times, and some say the best.

In this book Wilma brought together women from many different tribes to discuss various issues and ideas. The aspect of this book I liked the most is they discussed. They state their point of views, but very few things they say must be done. Of those things they speak of their people, and the environment.

I would suggest this book to anyone, man or woman, it has great insight. I would also like to reiterate that the things said are the views of these women, and will not be how every first nations woman thinks or sees things.

One of the discussions in this book was about love and got me to thinking. It showed me new things, but also clarified and helped me understand things I had felt when I was younger.

It also partially inspired me to start this blog, to put my thoughts out there as a man raised in the American society. Another inspiration was a blog titled generation y by Yaoni Sanchez. A Cuban woman who goes through hardships daily to give herself a voice. Other inspirations were a brother of my heart, and sisters of my heart, that have helped me see the value of having a voice, and having a voice heard.

Growing up, I saw many men speak about gentleness as weakness. Using descriptions that implied any man who was gentle in any way was more woman than man, and not deserving of being called a man.

I didn’t understand this. As a boy my father was abusive, uncaring, and distant. What I wanted and needed from him was love. Grandfathers were much better at giving love than middle aged or younger men were. But that was also dependent on the grandfather. It also seemed easier for them to give love to a girl than a boy.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, my sister had three children, two boys and a girl. I was told by many women, including my mother and sister, that it’s very important to love all the children the same. Boys are different from girls, but the love you have for them shouldn’t change or lessen for either. In trying to do just that, and in an attempt to not treat these boys like my father treated me, I gave them the same love I gave to my niece. I love each of them for their own personal traits, try and help them be good boys growing into good men. In just showing them the love I have for them, they still know I love them. They have not become girls or feminine in any way. But they can be caring and loving.

I think we men in America have learned a poor example as far as love goes. We do not have to be soft as far as being a pushover, or allowing yourself to be used. But you can show a gentleness as far as an understanding that a boy is not a man, and they are an innocent and deserve a protection because of that. As they grow they will encounter hardships as a part of life. But they should not have hardships thrown at them to “toughen them up”. Teaching them to recognize the protectiveness inherent in them and allowing them to discover where it applies through watching us, and their own actions, can develop a great strength that works off of that love for their family and others they wish to protect.

Love from a man can be applied differently than a woman applies it. But a woman is different than a man, and that in itself is a whole other blog. But it does not mean a man cannot love or should not love in great amounts.

In the way we treat a woman, a love can be applied without them being the woman that put us in their heart for the rest of their life as a wife. We can love a woman for being a woman and the way she acts with us and others because of it. I think we also need to understand that this love for an aspect of a woman does not mean they are “the one” for us. We can love our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, and we do not desire to take them as a wife. The same can be done with a friend and we can love them like a sister.

But in giving that love, we will learn from them their differences and see that they fit to us in a way that balances us out. We see that women in their way see the world differently than we do, and can teach us many things that we cannot see, and don’t normally occur to us.

I think it’s also imperative that we protect that difference of women. Losing it, we lose a better part of ourselves. Not to mention a way of caring for children that we men cannot produce. Also a giving nature that is essential to society.

Beyond and a part of all this, it is much more difficult sometimes to love in the midst of struggles. We men tend to get a hardness when faced with a struggle, and although it is an important tool, it can also be a deficiency in certain situations. Sometimes war, sometimes peace, without the ability to love fully, we cannot find the peace in ourselves, or find the piece with others.

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