Happiness Is?

Be wary of what others claim should make you happy.

I’m re-reading Sara Ahmed’s The Promise of Happiness: a book on how happiness enters feminist and queer-centred discussions. Happiness is often used by oppressors to say “this is what you should be doing to feel good about yourself.” The “sentimentalization of heterosexuality as ‘domestic bliss’,” for example, suggests that folks can’t be happy unless they’re in a stable, straight relationship. Not true. Obviously.

A common understanding of happiness has always been elusive. No one can pin down exactly what causes it for all people. You can create your own definition, and figure out what make you happy specifically.

It’s good to be conscious of when happiness is “used to redescribe social norms as social goods” so that you don’t end up striving for something that’s outside of your own way of being.

It’s all about what makes you happy, not what others say should make you happy.

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