Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Joy to the World

Updated August 31, 2020
A friend on Facebook asked for the "keys to happiness." Funny expression. Like we can get into it and drive off and all will be happy. I did reply because I think I have found my way to happy.

Sure, I fall off into "why bother" land more than I like. And I still think happy is still the base from which I lift off.

I'll comment and expand on what I told him. Here's what I said: Embracing learning from mistakes. Not only yours, but those mistakes you see around you. Make choices that fill your soul. Courage means having the fear and pain and going on anyway. Take a moment to celebrate when you recognize you're in an amazing experience. Be around like minded people who buoy your spirit. Let go of those who for whatever reason drain your energy. Find serenity to accept what you cannot change, courage to change what you can and dig deep for the wisdom to know the difference.

Everyone I interact with teaches me something. I often speak of watching my mother be brutalized by her spouses and how that taught me to pick something different. That lead me to learning from my own mistaken assumptions about the character of men. I see now that they come in a lot of flavors and it takes luck AND skill to detect the one that fit your taste.

Choose how you are going to be in the world. At first, I didn't know how to do this. I had to choose okay for a couple of years. I think I started before I got that advice but I became aware of it after I heard Iyanla Van Zant suggest it for someone. "Where are you NOW?" she begged of the women she was trying to help. That was me. Where was I, were people beating or molesting me? If not, why live as if that was happening inside my head?

Pain and memory need expression and resolution. Life requires examination to improve it. Once improved, life must be CELEBRATED.

After my divorce, a friend suggested a fabulous trip. Though it was some years later, I did that and climbed, explored and ate my way around Europe. Though I had fears and moments of desperate doubts about traveling alone, I went on anyway. I live those days over and over, reinforcing the pleasures I first experienced so many years ago.

I found people who think as I do and who share my values. I move away from and try and think kindly of those who think different. I will state my point of view so people know I have one and if it's not well received, I go somewhere where it will be.

I love what some call the serenity prayer. Because I am a person without faith, I think of it as more of a philosophy. I love science because it looks at the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. Sometimes, one has to DIG, exploring every aspect of life, to find courage, serenity and wisdom.

I know that I cannot change my past. I cannot erase the memories of it either. I can look at those events and the people involved as they truly were. Including myself. Warts and all. I changed much of my drama and distress into surviving and gratitude.

Now I try and share my lessons with others.

Kind comments encouraged.

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