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Monday, January 16, 2023

Hunt for Happiness by Joan Reeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

I'm not a wise philosopher, but one thing I've observed in life is that most people spend a great deal of time in the pursuit of happiness.

French philosopher and writers, Denis Diderot, said, "There is only one passion, the passion for happiness."

When you get right down to it, what is happiness?

Dictionaries define it as "an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment."

However one may define happiness, this state of being usually involves satisfaction with life and involves positive emotions that make one "feel good."


Good question. The short answer is it's part of the human condition. The longer answer is because one feels a lack of something in life. Far too often, that lack translates into lack of love—humans want to be loved and to give love.

Romance novels are built upon this basic need for love and happiness. The pursuit of happiness and love is the basic plot that drives the romance genre.

Sure, there are other plot elements, motivations,  and emotions involved, but beneath all of that is the basic need for love and happiness.

Perhaps happiness is as basic and fundamental as  Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin de Francueil— better known by her pen name George Sand—once said.

"There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved."


Of course my obsession with the hunt for happiness has to do with a new book that I'll publish in the next few months. In the meantime, I took a look at all the books I've written and realized 

In each book, the heroine is searching for something she lacks. In EVERY LITTLE LIE, Elizabeth searched for the reason her mother didn't love her. A lack that affected every aspect of her life and made her feel inferior and wary of relationships and love.


Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn a lesson. Usually the hard way. 

Elizabeth Stoneham knew this lesson was going to be another hard one. 

Using the mindlessness of passion to banish the pain of the past is a temporary solution.

The problem with this is that a woman can become ensnared if she’s not careful.

Review from EbookLuver: "Joan Reeves has written a true page-turner of women's fiction - 
intense, emotional and shocking with the lies...and more shocking with the truths."

Abraham Lincoln is often quoted for what he said about happiness: "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Epicetus said, "There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will." Is that another way to espress what Lincoln said?

I've always thought Lincoln's words held a hint of resignation or perhaps acceptance of the status quo whereas what Epicetus said suggests we not worry over anything out of our control.

At least that's my 2¢. What do you think about the way to happiness as expressed by Lincoln and centuries before by Epicetus?

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon which means she may earn a small commission if you buy her book using the embedded link.

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  1. I kind of go along with Abraham Lincoln. I think happiness takes work. Great post, Joan!

  2. This is a thorough take on an interesting and important topic, Joan. Oddly enough, I have a newspaper clipping, yellowed over time, of a Billy Graham column entitled "Happiness is a choice." He describes a lasting happiness that "is an inner joy and peace, which endures in any circumstance," and points people to God. But I believe everyone can make the choice and Graham recommends learning to "be content with whatever life brings." Easier said than done but it's nice to aspire to. :)

    1. Thank you for sharing, Cathy. Billy Graham was a wise and wonderful man. Perhaps aspiring to a state of mind one might describe as happiness is what we're supposed to do as human beings. One might even say that it's a way of evolving from selfish to selflessness?

  3. Great post. I think you have to work at happiness. But my life phrase is: "Never let anyone steal your joy." And that is because, even while we work at happiness, there are other situations or people who can put you in a tailspin--if you let them.

    1. Wells said. Yes, sometimes it takes effort to cling to our optimism and our good thoughts when the world around us seems to be "going to Hell in a hand basket" as my Grandfather was fond of saying. Hold fast to joy, optimism, and hope.

  4. I think I was about 35 when I realized only one person could make me happy and that was me. Up until that point I blamed unhappiness on something or someone else. Once I got past that and started doing what made me happy- life was so much better.

    1. Yes, getting past the teens and twenties makes you see Life much differently, doesn't it?


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