- Mental Health»
Happiness - To Be or Not To Be
'The Secret' Isn't So Secret
A long time friend of mine has been trying for years to get me to watch The Secret. I have the video, given to me by him, but I just haven't gotten around to watching it. I'm not opposed to watching it, nor am I avoiding it. I just know, based on his detailed and constant rundowns of it to me, and the rundowns I've heard from countless others, that the premise of it is no stranger to how I live my life. I've lived my life, in many ways and for more of it than not, mirroring the philosophical life lesson that The Secret would seem to teach.
Somewhere at some point during my adolescent angst a secret revealed itself to me, too. All on its own from somewhere deep down and rooted in my psyche. I think it had been there since birth, perhaps long before. I put down my pen, halted my musing and listened to it. And stemming from an abstract sense of something larger, it processed itself, and came to be an almost visual idea complete in itself. It was firm and honest and life-changing. I can't explain it in words, nor do I wish to try. I'm at peace just feeling it. I don't feel the need to label, categorize or validate it, I just live enjoying knowing that I'm able to hold it there, inside my head and take strength from it when the stores of my will deplete on occasion. It's a perfect, balanced thing in my mind. Held there by the gravity of my own desire to hold it.
My secret is mine, yet here and there I see a form of it in the eyes of another; my child's teacher, the convenience store clerk, a taxi driver, a new friend, an old man on the street. It can happen anywhere at any time, the only constant being my sheer joy at the recognition of it. Immediately upon seeing it and seeing that this other being also sees it, a full and concrete feeling of finding long lost kin envelopes me. And the beauty of this happening is that though my new found counterpart may disappear in moments, may never be met with again, the feeling invoked by this chance meeting stays with me for hours afterward. It rallies me on. A private, affirming encouragement that for hours or even days can suspend me above any negative pulls on my emotional being by the downfalls of life.
This secret of mine tells me to live well, fully and freely. It tells me to put all of my eggs in one basket, if I believe that the basket is where they all belong. It tells me to project the positivity I carry around within me outward onto everything that I see, feel, touch and believe. Its resolute confidence in the power of mind feeds my steadfast faith in the power of my own. It is responsible for what I forgive, what I don't, who I choose to stand beside, where I choose to let my feet take me in life, the little misery I hang onto and the swift disposal of that misery into nothingness. It makes me pull the smiles around me into my heart and use them medicinally in my recovery from anger and irritation. It whispers to me when I'm alone, which I am even in a room full of people, and tells me to take it all in, weed out the negative and retain the bolstering sweetness of the genuine.
As I grow and live and change and live and grow and learn, my secret stays the same. Like a gentle guide it shape-shifts around me as I follow it down whichever path I've chosen. I liken it to another me, the essence of me, the spirit I am with or without my physical self. It's never steered me wrong, nor has it left me, even when I've tried to venture forth away from it for fear of believing what it's telling me, at times when I don't want to hear the truth. It's at these times that my secret is most awesome and wise. And it's at times like these that the power of my faith in it strikes me with the most direct truth.
I may watch The Secret, I may not. Either way I continue to live harmoniously with myself and my sense of the universe as a playground for the positive thinkers. I continue to throw outward my pleasant vibrations, loving disposition and belief in the levity of life. My secret tells me karma's on its way.
A Happy Challenge?
A newly discovered, but immediately dear friend of mine has challenged me to a write-off of sorts. And I am so game. I love a good challenge. I win some, and some lumps I take, but all are met with enthusiasm for the outcome. For even those I lose, particularly those I lose carry the weight of immense possibility for improvement as I reflect upon my performance.
This friend of mine, a peaceable, positive thinking fellow writes of happiness and the struggle for it and the beautiful ease of it. http://www.adamjosh.com/?section=blog/happiness_is_a_choice/
And I agree with him. The happy state I acquired when my children were thrilled with the news of their upcoming end of the year school trip, obliterated my temporary dismay at the financial strain it was going to carry with it. It'll work itself out, I thought and still do. The joyful bursting feeling in my heart when I think of my family and how lucky I am to be a part of it all lessens the worry of losing them.
I was walking against the wind this morning, amid sheets of rain and snow and clinging to my umbrella as though it were shielding me from imminent death when I realized with a sigh of disgust that my shoelace had come undone. It took only a fraction of a second to realize that doing it back up while still holding the umbrella, not getting soaked by the impetuous rush of traffic at my back, and remaining upright was not a viable option. Discarding the blasted tool (which up until this point had been my friend), I bent down into the puddle forming around my waterlogged pant cuffs and began to tie the lace ferociously. At that moment, stuck immobile for what felt like eternity when I should clearly be progressing toward the warmth of home, I espied, with my little eye, something that was yellow.
Yellow? Well, that's not right, I thought, standing and resuming my stooped position behind my umbrella. It's December and well past the season of such vibrant colour, I thought absentmindedly. I wiped the droplets from my sunglasses--yes, I wore my sunglasses out into the dismal abyss this morning, perhaps to shade my irritation at having to travel outside at all--and looked again. Bright yellow, it was clearer this time. A young tree rat (squirrel in layman's terms) had perched itself upon the decorative reindeer of my neighbour's front yard and in its claws was holding half of a cob of corn. It was staring at me, unconcerned about our close proximity and my haphazard movements. Observing me studiously as if to say, 'I can dig the weather, what's your problem?'
And I smiled. Oddly, I smiled while trying valiantly to hold on to a semblance of my stoic indignance at having my universe force me to tie up my shoelace in this weather, just a few houses away from the shelter of my own. Then I realized that I was amused now at my own aggravation, for I was already dripping so why not stand around for a minute to silently chat with a squirrel? These absurd thoughts and the absurd situation itself couldn't have taken more than a minute in total, but the effect it had on my mood was as consuming as though it were hours long.
After bidding Mr. Pompous, Psychic Squirrel adieu, I went on my way, and all the way home I kept thinking, I love you, untied shoelace. I love you, tree rat. Thanks for reminding me.
Happy Is As Happy Does
After a harrowing yet enlightening walk through the neighbourhood this morning, I tune into the channels of social interconnection for a moment and am delighted to face the lovely thought of happiness. It practically jumps off the page at me in light of my recent spiritual encounter. Wow, I think, great minds do think alike. I wonder, I say to myself, if the energy emanating from these happy thoughts on my screen would be as positive had my morning walk not been interrupted by a momentary bout of self-awareness. I think not. I think they would still exhibit positivity, surely, but because my lines of communication with the world and the wonder of it have been fully opened, the concept of happiness means more to me at the moment than it may have at another time.
My frequencies, at the moment are honed in to the decadence of the art of overcoming negativity. And so my secret is alive and in full throttle again. We all have moments of doubt and moments of clarity, but what is it, I wonder, that proves the significant reason in each of us that turns those moments of doubt into good, clear focus on the silver lining? I'm certain that the reason is different for everyone, but is it the same reason each time for each person? Do I have a systematic thought process engrained in my mind that is to be what pushes me up and over the mental hurdles I meet with? Is that inherent thought process, indistinguishable through wording, part and parcel of my secret? I don't know. And I really don't care!
As long as it doesn't leave me, I'm good with the concealment of it. My happiness depends on it, as a matter of fact. The inner voice that dictates who I am and what I should be doing is absolutely a happy one. I think of those without the bare necessities of life and am happy for my humble abode. I think of the children everywhere, who will be waking up on Christmas morning, praying that there will be something to eat while the children down the road are waking up and praying that Santa remembered the batteries for their $200.00 remote controlled plaything. The happiness I feel at the sight of the sun breaking through the clouds reminds me of the pain and suffering I felt at breaking away from an abusive spouse. My content with my surroundings, be they material or figurative, reminds me of the discontent my neighbour who is poor and unhealthy must feel on a daily basis.
I put up my Christmas tree this week, not as a symbol of Jesus or derived from any symbolic reverence but as an annual reminder of where I come from and where I want my children to come from. This reminder comes in many other forms throughout the rest of the year; however I cling to this time of the season because it reminds me so strongly of my childhood, which was safe and secure, stable and loving.
It also literally forces me to break from the everyday. My children are home for two weeks from school, my husband is home for two weeks from work, and damn it, I'm going to put them first. My own work, school, and personal projects are not compromised, but rather they are voluntarily shuffled down a shelf on my list of priorities. The tree itself signifies, in my home, not the religious, not the almighty dollar spent on gifts, but the warmth and cosiness of my home when the outside world is hustling and bustling and overspending and stressing out. And when the actual tree is taken down, that significance remains an astronomical part of what I try to instil in my children's home life, during the other 364 days of the year.
Happiness is as happiness does. I see people every day, know them, spend time with them and cannot conceive of how they can ever call themselves happy. The pedicure they went for with the friend they trash talked the day before; the glee they display in buying that item before the store ran out because so and so doesn't have it yet; the new car; the new wardrobe; the new tv; the new; the new; the new. And if this is what makes them happy, then this is what makes them happy. My silent laughter (sometimes not so silent) at their meanings of happiness makes no difference in the end. The trivial wants and needs of theirs are frequently shared by myself, I just recognize the trivia for what it is, and recognize that I may not get that item before the store runs out, and whatever! if I don't. My happiness will not be weakened for it. My happiness strengthens despite and to spite the disappointment. That's how I roll. That's how I teach my kids to roll, that's how the world would roll were I empress of it.
I think about the happy times I had as a kid, the happy times I revel in with my own and I'm thankful. I'm thankful that I've been gifted with the knowledge of how to be happy, regardless of circumstance, mood or station in life. I'm happy to just be my secret and I, and we're happy to know we're warm and free and fed and tested and winners and fighters.
I think the bottom line is that to be happy, you have to live happily. That means that when the nameless bastard in the expensive, fast car cuts you off, you say, 'That's awesome! That's so awesome that you did that.' - (My peaceable, positive thinking friend said that while we were driving recently, and unbeknownst to him at the time, that statement changed my life.)
I think a change of life can occur at any time, and often, or not so often if that be the case. I think if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! Do it! Clap them! Seriously. Sometimes I clap my hands because I'm SO excited, and for a moment I'm a kid again, and my husband looks at me adoringly, and my kids look at me like I've lost my mind, and all is right with the world. BECAUSE I'M HAPPY. And it only takes moment of happiness to expel a world of negativity. I'm a living example. Try it.