I believe in laughter shared between two people. I believe in smiles, extending across the distance of strangers and filing empty spaces. I believe in light and how it flows freely from us when we touch one another, when we kiss, when we speak words of encouragement aloud.
I believe in happiness, and that it is all around, inherent within us.
This world is dark. There is no denying that. There is no pretending pain does not exist, evil does not triumph at times. There is no acting like innocent people aren’t dying at the hands of ones who are wrong, or that sin is not present. There is no escaping the heavy truth that death is looming over us, and sadness often hovers like a cloud.
But even in a world of emptiness and pain, there are still hands reaching out to hold us; there are still voices telling us ‘yes, you can;’ there are still jokes to be told and cheeks to kiss; there are still celebrations and fireworks and success and good careers and mornings waking up to a warm body, whispering ‘I love you’ into the morning air.
There are still sunrises. There are still ice cream cones and forgiveness and second chances woven into our limbs. There are still children to play with and unconscious smiles to flit across our cheeks. There are still memories to be made, ones where we’ll throw our heads back and laugh, spin in circles, and kiss with the taste of beer still wet on our tongues.
There are still an infinite number of moments where joy exists.
We must be willing to see these moments, to know them, to feel them and let them be a part of us. We must understand that we do not have to look for peace, for it is within us.
We must simply close our eyes and remember.
Happiness is not a destination, but a journey. It is not a place, but a state of consciousness, one where we decide to see what we have not what we lack.
We spend so much of our lives searching, but everything we desire is all around us—when we hear the voices of our loved ones, when we watch the leaves shake within the trees, when we taste the first bites of a meal on our tongues, when we cry and feel cleansed.
It is not wrong to search for happiness, but we must understand this emotion has never left us.
We must understand that everything moves; nothing stays the same. We must bring ourselves back to the place where we can live humbly, live thankfully, live in gratitude rather than relentlessly look for what more we can grasp.
We must understand happiness is present, wherever we are.
This is not to say pain does not exist because it does. Pain is constant, just as beauty is constant; these are two juxtapositions that live in ironic harmony in this world. So we must feel our pain, we must work on our healing, we must experience emotion without fear.
But we must also dance in the fact that joy is here and now, that even in a world of darkness there is still light.
I believe in happiness. I believe in rays of sunlight that will peek through my bedroom window each morning. I believe in laughter and babies and innocence and youth. I believe in forgiveness and how it has the power to change. I believe in love and how, with love, all is possible.
I believe in better days, in starting over, in beginning again.
I believe in a beautiful world, despite destruction, darkness, and death.
I believe in you, in me, in us, in our smiles bringing hope in the brokenness.