We have storms of our own that we must face. It's part of living. We think it's those storms that steal away our happiness, but it's actually our shelter that helps us weather it out. That's why another Element of Happiness is knowing where or what your shelter is. It must be defined because if you don't know what that is, you may not be able to find your way out of the darkness when things are most bleak. By defining your shelter, you give respect to it, you acknowledge the healing powers it offers you on your most challenging of days.
Please, don't take this exercise for granted: take a moment to truly think about your shelter. Knowing your shelter is part of the Happiness Element. Where do you go to lick your wounds, heal your soul, and muster courage to face the storms in your life? Does your comfort come from a bathtub, spilling over with steam and bubbles? Is your shelter the local coffee shop down the street where you can melt your insecurities and anxieties in a cup of mocha latte cradled in both hands, fingers gently wrapped around its permeating warmth? Perhaps it's a park, just you and your 4-legged friends, hiking out of a dismal emotional pit of worry. Do you get it? You need to define it and then, without thinking, you go there when you need to. You don't think, you don't wallow in self-pity, you just go there. It is your place of healing, most sacred. And to hold on to happiness while you brace yourself for the storm, you must find your shelter. It's a matter of survival, emotional and spiritual. Is this making any sense?
For me, my shelter has always been rooted in nature and warmth. When life's hill gets a bit too steep, I walk the woods. When it's too cold outside to bother, I indulge in a cup of coffee, soothing from the inside, out. Some of life's storms even send me on a little shop therapy - I'm still waiting for those excursions to be counted as medical tax deductions.
Oh, happy day!