Monday, April 21, 2014

Making you happy?

In some crazy attempt to organize my life earlier this year, I started looking at other blogs and newsletters for this magical message that would help clear up all my woes.  Unfortunately, all it has done is clog up my inbox with over 100 unread emails.  They go unread as I WANT to read them, because I know in there is some nugget of information that will help solve all my problems.  I slowly sift through them, in the wee hours of the morning when my brain wakes me up.  Usually 4AM.  Why am I telling you this?  I'm not sure, if only to help clear my plate by having a blog post for this week, or fulfilling my need to write (and procrastinate).  But in the end, I have found that articles like this are written because someone else is feeling them too.  

When I saw the title "4 ways to find your happy" come across my inbox I thought my search was over (cue cheesy 80s music).  When I open this email and click on the link, utter bliss will befall me.  Of course you know what comes next.  Sheer disappointment.  Not because it did not tell me how to find happiness, but because of what it was asking me to do.


I am in serious trouble here.  What do I value?  What kind of question is that?  Everything!  Right?  Everything is important.  But the more I thought about it, the more I didn't know.  I don't know.  I am stumped and now I will never be happy.  These newsletters are supposed to help me find clarity.  So if clarity is being dropped in a mud puddle, I am there.  What does that mean?? What is important to me? Write my first thoughts and hold on to them? WHAT?  My first thoughts are fear and confusion and I am trying to let those go!  I DON'T KNOW.  Panic and despair has now filled my day, and it's only 4:10 AM. 

I read on.  Next was Live by your values.  Ok, I have values I thought.  But as I am writing this blog post, I am ever more confused:  "Your list could include activities like working out, sticking to a budget, having coffee with a friend...".  I was thinking more of values you know "Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable."  Coffee with friends would not fit my definition.  How will I ever be happy?  Grab some coffee?  If that's the case, Starbucks here I come! 

By 5AM any hope of my finding happiness have been reinforced.  Especially by the last point.  "Helping Others Helps."  I enjoy helping others.  I love helping others.  But then as I continue to read, I wonder if my helping others is as selfless as the post implies.  I begin to look at the places I want to volunteer, the people I help.  Am I being selfless?  Do I have another agenda by providing this assistance?  I didn't think so.  I help others because I genuinely think I can help them.  I enjoy it.  But am I doing myself a disservice by helping others so much and neglecting my own dream projects, am I hiding from my dreams, my happiness?

The last slide provide me a glimmer of hope.  "Look at the Big Picture."  Whatever little setback you have today, there is always tomorrow.

As much as I don't want to be zen (that's a whole other issue);
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (21)”  
Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

sometimes you have to be.  So don't be too hard on yourself for what you didn't do, you can't get that moment back.  Look at today and how you can be better.

See a moment of happiness!