Is happiness akin to destination? With some planning, preparation and piloting, with right words and gestures, with a little bit of providence and good weather, one hopes to arrive at Happiness.
But my dad says happiness is not a destination or even a journey. It's a state of mind. It's how you feel at that given moment. Why be in a gray, blue or black mood when you could be listening to a song or treating your taste buds, he asks me. It sounds more like mechanics- A twist here, a nudge there and you reset your mood. Aren't emotions supposed to be spontaneous? Something that bursts from within you naturally and is not contrived?
He was not talking about putting on a phony smile or masquerading a joyous disposition when you are feeling like crap (Pardon me, but it had to be said). Worrying, wallowing in guilt or withering in anger has never done an iota of good in alleviating the situation.
But since we are fortunate enough to live in a society, our needs and feeling come last. We pretend to be happy for our guests, boss, child or any other myriad number of people we meet. Because a smile is so conspicuous by it's absence and is always remarked upon by those near and dear, we put in so much effort into appearing happy.
Why can't we do this simple courtesy for ourselves? Be selfish I say!
How, you ask me. I asked him the same thing. How do you drive? How do you get up and persist to work everyday? Determination? Control? Obligation? Whatever it is, it's the same principle here. Make yourself happy. You wouldn't watch a bad movie or read a boring blog, then why would you foster a grumbling grouch on yourself and bear it's company, even if it is yourself?!
I'm a eternal optimist, an endless dreamer and a perpetual fool. I used have this rule of making five people smile per day when I was a teenager. I have, since then, expanded my horizon. I take a shot at making everyone I meet laugh, with the tenacity of a bull-dog. None must leave my vicinity without a smile on their face. Even if my jokes may fall flat and are timed badly, no one can fault me for lack of efforts!
Ah... The fact is, I sulk, snarl, snipe and sniff, just like everyone else. The difference is that I try hard, really hard, to experience it only once. I restrain myself from reliving the pain.
You don't waddle into muck with your eyes open (o.k., I do!) but it happens. When it does, you try to get yourself out of the puddle immediately, brush your cloths or wash or do whatever is necessary to clean up. Same here. Feel bad, but try to feel better - after all it's in your best interest.
PS: I'm not categorizing grief and fear with 'muck'. The feelings may be same, but the intensity is incomprehensible.