My website, as you know, is entitled: Dan Dissects Life - Practical Tips for Happiness and Contentment. Quite often people think that happiness and contentment are synonyms for each other, but...they're not. One can be very happy and not contented. However, if one is contented - they may not exhibit the traits that one thinks of when they contemplate what happiness should mean. Yet, the contented person may, indeed, be very happy.  

Happiness is a state of considerable pleasure and cheer. The happy person is often gleeful, light, and even euphoric. Happiness is wonderful. The mind and body may be overcome with elation. It is a beautiful "place to be!" However, happiness may come and go. Contentment, on the other hand, is often a way of life.

An example may be the parent who watches his or her child graduate from college. They are proud of their offspring and happy to see him or her reach one of life's great goals. Yet...even during the ceremony, the parent's thoughts may drift to school loan payments (and how they'll deal with them), whether or not their child will be able to find a satisfying profession, and, perhaps, a sadness of knowing that their child will soon be leaving home. They might find themselves being discontented while, at the same time, experiencing happiness.

Contentment is different. It is a feeling of peace with one's self and one's life, an ease of mind and satisfaction with one's state of being. Happiness adds a certain texture to the contented person...a taste of extra satisfaction to an already satisfied state. Yet - there is also a constant calmness to the contented person's "soul."

Happiness might manifest itself when one buys something "new," enabling the buyer to sense fulfillment and joy. The contented person may realize that they are fine with what they have and that just "being" and feeling nature's energy is fulfilling enough.

Experiencing happiness without contentment may leave a person "empty." But, meshing happiness with contentment can lead to a life filled with calmness, love, laughter, and matter how many things and how much money a person may, or may not, have.

Love is complex. Yet, it's as simple as any other emotion we possess. The feeling of love can be experienced when a parent looks at his or her child or his or her own parents, siblings, or dear friends. Love shields us, it reveals us, and it exposes us like an open book. We need to love like we need to eat. It's part of our basic wants and desires. Everyone feels the same. However, those who do not get enough love may (like a person with malnutrition) become ill or die, it in ways that may be harmful to themselves and others.

Being a loving person can help everyone, including yourself. By spreading love, we spread peace, calmness, and feelings of respect for others. Those things alone can help heal the ailments of the world and many individuals who inhabit it.

There is, of course, another aspect of love. And that is the feeling of being IN love. It's passion, admiration, desire, and physical and mental "rushes" all wrapped into one. Being IN love often gets misinterpreted with infatuation (which eventually wears off). While REALLY being IN love is knowing that the other person gets you, fits you "like a glove," and excites you. And - is respectful enough not to want to control you.

When a person feels love it encompasses their being. We all know the affect it can have. Each of us may react in a slightly different manner, but - generally, our emotions are reflective of the positives that love brings. So...if you recognize that love is one of the most powerful elements of life and that the positive energy it conveys can cure so many problems, why not use it to do just that? What could be better than living in a world filled with love?