I met a friend for dinner recently. I got there first and sat facing the door. She was grinning ear to ear, a beautiful, happy smile when she came in, so I asked, "So what's going on with you?"
She laughed. "I don't know! I just feel good -- and I'm happy." Later in our conversation, she revealed that she had fought depression since she was a young girl, which made it even more awesome that she acknowledged that she feels good and that she's happy.
In my daily "counting of the blessings", I changed my mantra to include this observation of my friend. "As I begin this brand new day, my dominant intent is to feel good. Nothing is more important, more essential, or more beneficial to my wellbeing than that I acknowledge that I am happy and that I feel good."
I've discovered that there is guilt associated with being happy, so I started digging to see what it is, and why we continue to harbor it.
This is what came out: a perception that the world is in a boat load of trouble. We have an escalating drug problem, legal and illegal. We have homeless people, starving children, terrorists, corporate rascals hoarding the wealth, and people marrying the same sex. We have global warming, Monsanto poisoning our food supply, fracking poisoning our water and air, a missing jetliner, and a congress that can't agree on anything. We have Obama in the Whitehouse and Obamacare which will surely be the final nail in our coffin. The list goes on and on. What right do we have to feel good when the world is going down the toilet as we speak?
The answer is simple, so simple in fact, many will reject it out of hand and insist on railing about any or all of the above problems and more, -- but we were born with the right to feel good and to be happy.
We lost touch with that right -- some where along the way. We learned to worry. Nothing steals our ability to feel good and to be happy more than worrying about things beyond our control.
Several years ago, I got chill bumps when I heard Abraham say, "it's easy to bring yourself back to center (feeling good). It just takes deciding that feeling good is worth something and practicing with real determination to feel good for no other reason than to feel good."
I have been "practicing with real determination" for many years now, to "feel good for no other reason than to feel good". I still get sidetracked occasionally but I'm happier than I've ever been before, and more often than not, I feel great.
When I first started on this path, I ran into a lot of folks who wanted to reinstate the "guilt" by mentioning the starving people in Africa, the fact that this person has cancer, and any one of a thousand other problems, in an effort to wipe that silly grin off my face. They scold me because I'm not "staying informed". It took a long time for me to realize that I can not get sick enough to make anyone else healthy. I can't eat enough to stop the hunger pains of one child in Africa. I can't make those folks in the Middle East like each other -- and further more, neither can anyone else. I CAN, however, worry myself into deep dark depression that serves me in not one positive way.
So I turned my ability to focus on noticing, acknowledging and appreciating what God has given to me, good health and lots of evidence that there is much more to be happy about than the mortal "powers that be" want anyone to see.
It isn't that we apologize for feeling good and being happy as much as it is that we don't acknowledge it. I remember feeling kind of paranoid in my youth because it seemed that if I said aloud, "everything's going very well" something came along to knock me off my high horse. But at that point in my life, I didn't know that my thoughts were building what would happen next in my life, that my nights of lying awake worrying were not helping in any way. My mother shared this with me, "if you worry about something long enough and hard enough, more than likely it or something very similar will happen in your life." The best path to getting happy and feeling good is to let go of worrying.
Many of us are waiting for "our ship to come in" before we can say, "I'm happy and I feel good." If you're waiting for ideal circumstances, an improved financial condition, or the right spouse or partner, you're wasting time. Look for the things that make you smile, even if it's only for a moment.
Those smiling moments will link up with other smiling moments and before you know it, you'll be feeling happier than you've ever felt before.
I read an old poem when I was a girl. It has stuck with me because even as a youngster, I knew the truth in it, although I haven't always adhered to it.
(Partial) Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
"Laugh and the world laughs with you,
Weep and you weep alone.
The sad old Earth must borrow it's mirth,
but has troubles enough of its own."
When I walk into the flower shop today and my boss says, "How is Paula?" I'm going say, "I'm happy! And I feel good!"
Thank you Peggy Browning! You inspire me!
You can read Peggy's own unique perspective on her blog at www.fiftyodd.com
"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin
Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.
"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham
"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran
“And forget not