Monday, November 26, 2012

Reflection on Happiness

On the whole lately, my life has been looking up. My great good news is still sinking in for me, and, wow, is that something to be thankful for!

It's funny to me how quickly and easily I've adjusted to "normal" life -- mostly, because my life was always mostly normal all along. Finding freedom has been like throwing off a huge, heavy, invisible cloak of sadness that was dragging around behind me and hampering my every move. I've had no qualms whatsoever about slipping that cloak off, folding it up, and leaving it laying alongside the road with not a glance backward. It's much lighter and freer without it.

Still... though... I've had some moments of real misery lately. Moments where I questioned everything in my life -- who am I, and what am I doing here, and is this the right place, and should I have chosen differently, and what will I do next, and what do I want to do/be/have/avoid -- all those sorts of existential questions.

I had a bit of insight this week, coming at the end of a vacation that was truly glorious in both its uncomplicated flow and its overall harmonious shift from the day to day dealings of my life. It was a true respite in that all my usual cares were gone, and I was able to think beyond daily survival matters to the big picture. I realized that I have become entirely too dependent on external factors to make me happy. I've fallen into the trap of thinking that if only I had such-and-such, or if my husband were more so-and-so, or if my kids were, or if my house were cleaner, or when I am thinner/healthier/shinier or when I make more money/work more/have fame, etc. etc. etc. THEN I will feel happy.

But that's not true is it?

Either I'm happy or I'm not. It comes from within me. Nothing outside can really create it, or take it away. So if I want to be happy, I simply choose to be so. And then perhaps those other things will follow from that. Or perhaps not. But in the meantime, I will be happy. Contented. Satisfied. Loved. Safe.

In honor of that, and also because I really enjoyed the energy it created this summer, I am going to begin another cycle of giving. If I'm doing my math right, I'll start tomorrow and give every day for 29 days, ending at Christmas. This time I'm talking about it as well as writing, and inviting others to join along with me. Would you like to give for the next month, and see how it feels?

I'll be writing daily about my gifts (at least, I'll do my best).

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