happiness is not a bright yellow sweater you will find one day to slip over your head and wear proudly with your static-y hair. there are sweaters like that, but their tags read "excitement", not happiness, and they are usually red. the problem with these sweaters is that they can unravel as soon as you attach them to something and they also hurt other people's eyes sometimes.
happiness is a window that's been shattered. there are shards of iridescent glass everywhere. some of them stuck in people's hair and clothes, but most people have to slow down to gather those shards of glass and keep them in a stack inside their ribcages.
then again, maybe it wasn't a window that shattered, maybe it was a mirror.
joy is not a bluebird that lands on your shoulder one sunny morning when you smell especially nice. it doesn't always sing in your ear and cause others to spontaneously dance around you.
joy is a light that is born in your heart and is reflected more and more with each shard of happiness you gather. its light spreads throughout your veins and makes your bones glow. it covers you with a layer of sunshine right below your skin, because yes, the world may hurt your body but underneath your armor of light they can never hurt you.
happiness is not a brilliantly cold waterfall that rushes over your tan skin in summertime while you laugh in a forest green swimsuit.
happiness is a still pool of water that you balance on your head as you walk with grace and surety.
joy is not a sparkly purple butterfly that you can chase through a meadow and catch with a net.
joy is separate, shimmering crystals that fall from sparkly purple butterflies and gather in the corners of your eyes and the part of your hair as you lay in the meadow and watch the sky.
peace cannot be found at the end of a red string twisting and turning around tall sequoias.
peace is right inside you.
these are not things to be chased after continuously. they are the culmination of experiences of love and they only come when you take the time to feel them. happiness is not the way you see the world, that is a byproduct. happiness comes from the way you see you, and the way you see you affects how you see everything else. these things are quiet, they are still, and they come from within. they do not beg to be flaunted but when others look, they'll be able to tell. they do not crash over you and change your life, they are the very essence of your existence. they are you, and you create them. stop looking, start feeling. you'll find them.