Like the hailstone storms that are smattering Dublin setting off car and house alarms, there are some surprises that scupper plans and make us uncomfortable. ‘Happiness’ is like a hail-storm; it arrives all of a sudden in a shower of bliss and then it stops. That’s what I’m used to, a passing phase of happiness interrupted by the black dog of depression. I’ve read many books of how to make the most of life but somehow, I still got used to thinking the same way, comfortable as I remained oblivious. The negative thoughts I was thinking have resulted in bad feelings and those bad feelings are scuppering my moments of bliss.
Just stop thinking about being happy
There are challenges in life but being happy doesn’t mean denying those challenges. It’s about focusing on the rest of life, remembering the good stuff – we’ve all had great moments we can tap into that will help us dismiss the negative thoughts. I’ve got some scar tissue in my brain but I’ve got billions of healthy cells with neuro-genesis there too (not my MRI scan)! By focusing on the functional & skipping (metaphorically) over those scars it is possible to get to the wonderful, happy moments of life. Gradually, those moments turn into minutes, those minutes into hours and those hours into a state of being.
So where is The Happy? It isn’t at the top of Croagh Patrick on St. Patrick’s Day ( though I was happy to have gone to the top and back!), it isn’t in the bottom of the pint glass, it isn’t in the bitching you do with your friends or comparing conquests with your mates and it isn’t in being a victim to what people expect you to be, to what you expect you to be. Happiness is not the far away land that maybe someday, with enough reflection, enough head work, determination and maybe even pain, we’ll arrive at the shore.
It is here, now. This reminder to stay present, staying ‘here’ and real from Pope Francis landed at just the right time. It is thanks to a dear friend who is walking happiness where ever she goes.
“Don’t cry for what you lost, fight for what you have. Don’t cry for the dead, fight for what was born in you. Don’t cry for those who abandoned you, fight for who is with you. Don’t cry for who hates you, fight for what you want. Don’t cry for your past, live for your present struggle. Don’t cry for your suffering, struggle for your happiness. With the things that are happening to us we are learning that nothing is impossible to solve, just move on”. Pope Francis
On this day, this moment, start now. Make the commitment to be happy.
“You have to make a commitment. There is no way to happiness. happiness is the way”, Richard Carlson
© Emma Rogan 2014
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Updated 26th March 2014