It twinkles and sprinkles our lives with happiness. This thing we call the pursuit of peace. You thought I’d say happiness, right? Nope. It’s not happiness that is the ultimate goal for millions of people. Especially in times of suffering. Happiness is a by-product of feeling peace. 

Peace, comfort, contentment, safety, and even security. Those things must happen before considering hedonistic happiness. Something many people don’t dare to feel until they are secure in their base. Something many happiness researchers seem to miss in their pursuit of how to sell happiness. Or rather, research, then write about, happiness. 

Aesthetic joy?


In 2015, I started a Pinterest board about twinkle lights. All things sparkly and joyful. Aesthetics contribute abundance to our lives. To me, the small twinkling glitter of tiny lights bring joy and happiness to my life. It was a visual step toward an internal grounding. 

It was in that fluidity of purposeful focus on things that twinkle, I dared to dream. 

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed of for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aesthetics have a profound effect on how we perceive our creature comforts. Those comforts are afforded to the fiscally secure so much more than those who are financially challenged. And yet, we continue to offer the same cookie cutter advice to all as if a global blanket has settled gleefully over everyone equally. 

Twinkle and Shine 


When we pursue happiness, but ignore the happiness of those less fortunate than ourselves, we are showing our proclivity toward the blind eye. A blind eye can not fully enjoy the sparkle of an aesthetically pleasing view. We can’t see someone’s suffering while also feeling nothing but a joyful celebration of self. 

To honor our whole life, it is imperative to also give back to our fellow humans. To pay it forward when we can or to offer a hand up in the moment of knowing that someone else is going without is the full truth of what it is to be happy.

Some people are completely content to be absorbing abundance while peddling humility. Others are living humility while giving away their abundance. 

Whole Life Balance

I have the privilege of living in a place where there is great despair and great abundance in equal measures. We thrive under the umbrella of the opulence of a wealthy life; but we mustn’t shut our eyes to the hardships either. 

To live wholly, we must embrace both the darkness and the light.To be fully whole is the ultimate goal of our humanity. Without the darkness, we would never see the twinkle of the stars. Therein lies the secret of joy.

This is the truth of a positive psychology origin as first explained by Abraham Maslow. To appreciate the light while understanding the meaning of the dark. That is the secret that is no secret, only awareness. 

In Peace and Light,


Author: Karen Henry has a masters in community psychology and an advanced graduate certificate in mental health counseling. She is the author of Indelible Women and the ReWrite series. A former university lecturer, she is now a private practitioner and researcher in the United States. Henry Healing dot com is her calling card. 



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