Monday, May 16, 2011

Happiness is...the goal

Most people don’t know this about me, but I’m not an innately happy person. Or even a generally happy person. I don’t wake up feeling happy and ready to face my day, I don’t fall asleep looking forward to tomorrow, I don’t have boundless energy, no matter how it appears. I wasn’t raised with the happy gene. I was raised with “the world is a horrible place” gene and that all of life is a long, painful, horrible struggle. Some days, I still feel that way.
 But yesterday, my dearest friend said I look good and asked why, and the first answer that came to mind was…”I’m happy?” With the “?” because I thought, “Would that make me look good? Could I BE happy?  Could I say that out loud and not have the building collapse, someone die, or have me gain another 10 lbs of unasked for weight?”
 But I said it, and now my friend wants to know the secret.
 Some people ARE born happy. I only learned that about 9 years ago actually. No matter what is happening in their lives, they still seem to make it through the day and look forward to tomorrow. I can’t tell you how THEY do it, because I will never understand that feeling.
 What I CAN tell you, is what is working for me. Much is borrowed from mentors and famous quotes.
  • I let the Universe guide me. I say it over and over (See last blog post). No matter what is going on in my life, or in that moment (people cutting me off in cars, in line, on the subway or things a hell of a lot worse), I just repeat it and have faith that I am EXACTLY where I’m supposed to be.
  • The ONLY thing I can control, is my attitude. My reactions. I can NOT control the person cutting me off in cars, in line, on the subway or worse. I want to leave every situation better than I left it. Maybe I don’t always succeed, but I think of it every time. If those people REALLY feel the need to cut me off in line…I don’t think the extra 45 seconds is going to chance my life. If they drive insanely near me, I do NOT need to react like an idiot back. I’ve seen a lot of idiots in my time. I have ALWAYS chosen to NOT be just like them in return.
  • I breathe. I sit in silence. I do things I enjoy every day. I eat food I love (reminder of that 10 lbs reference above). I surround myself with Vision Boards of what I want to do in my life, and what I want NOW.
  • I live, “as if”. As if I have everything I could possibly want or need. And I do. I’m very blessed. I have a roof over my head, clothes to wear, people I love and that love me. If you watch the International News,  you’ll know that is a LOT more than most people have across the Globe and I never, ever lose site of that fact.
  • I give to others. Usually quietly. But I do. 
  • I started dropping negative thoughts like hot rocks. I stopped saying mean things to myself (or hopefully others). I started having more faith in myself. 
  • I vent everything…in writing. Plays, films, diary, blog. NOT in emails. I work it out. I don’t sit with feelings anymore so much. I aim to admit the feelings, and let them go. Again, not perfect, but that’s the goal.

I hope you notice that my answers do NOT include: I have the perfect boyfriend, family, job, body, wardrobe, or anything else like that. Happiness is not a destination, it’s a life choice. And for me, it takes work. But the payoff seems to be working, because it makes me happy. And that’s the point.