Sunday, May 12, 2019

Why Aren't We Happy?


Daughter Dear asked me yesterday why everyone is so grumpy.

Are they?

Are we?

Americans aren’t the happiest people on the planet, yet we enjoy untold creature comforts. And even the most menial of jobs pay more than many in the world.

What is it?

Are we spoiled? Don’t we have enough challenges to keep our minds away from dwelling on how we’ve been done wrong, or how we’ve failed, or how we don’t have the riches of those who are daily shoved in our faces, on the television, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

All around us are ads showing smiling faces and beautiful people frolicking in the sun—free from allergies made gone by some medication that carries more risks to our health than the pollen that is sprouting in our noses.

I told my daughter a story about a blind turtle that lives in the depths of the ocean. Once every 1,000 years he surfaces for a breath.  

One the surface of the ocean floats a wooden ring. 

What are his chances that he will poke his snout through that ring?

About the same chance of you being born.

Of course, there could be another explanation as to why we are here. If our soul is eternal, and we have a choice to come here or not, we would find a way to get here with the parents we have or another set.

Either way, we have won the genetic lottery.

Maybe we chose consciously, maybe we didn’t.

Maybe we got the body we wanted, maybe we didn’t. 

Maybe we chose a beautiful body, but it would spend its life in a wheelchair. 

Maybe we didn’t.

There are a lot of maybes out there.

I do know that we are fighting resistance all along the way.

Resistance is a word I learned from Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art. 

We could call it procrastination, but I believe it is more than that. There is something inside us that resists the very thing that is either good for us or is our soul’s calling.
Maybe that’s where people got the idea of a devil.

I don’t think there is a little horned creature standing on your shoulder. 

I think it’s biology or psychology. Either way, it’s the way the brain works.

Remember the brains' job isn’t to make us happy, it’s to keep us alive—and it’s constantly on the lookout for danger.

Pressfield told of how he resisted writing—yet it was his soul’s calling. And artists, of which we all are, are not happy unless they are doing the thing that our souls call us to do.

We resist in other ways, like going to the doctor and not following their advice.
I did that recently. My naturopath gave me dandelion tea to drink along with a dandelion tincture.” Two or three cups a day,” she said.

Well, I didn’t like the taste so I made one cup a day. Yesterday I owned up to it and had three cups. I’m on my third today, and I got smart. I made a pot in the morning and am drinking it iced during the day. It’s good iced. No sweat.

I agreed to do it every day, two or three cups, for a month. We’ll see what results I get.
I have spoken of the gatekeeper before. I imagine him standing at the base of our brains throwing out the good stuff we are attempting to throw in.

I don’t know why.

Sometimes I call him a brat.

Or, he’s doing his job, and he has been living in fear for so long it's built into him.
He’s like an old curmudgeon, “That won’t work. Don’t do that.”

Every day we hear of something to fear. It has been wars—I know about that. It has been diseases—I remember when our mothers wouldn’t let us go to the public swimming pool during August—Polio season.

We fear that the government is taking away our freedoms, we fear that we will have a car wreck, a plane crash, or that some predator will get our children. We fear walking down dark alleys, and we fear we won’t get the love we so desire.

It’s a tough game out there, and then some idiot—like me—comes along and asks why aren’t we happy.

I have a friend who says she is happy all the time—because she chooses to be.
She has frustrations. She is sad sometimes, but that doesn’t keep her from her appointment with happy.

Some say that happiness is an unattainable goal and that it’s foolish to expect to be happy all the time. Certainly, I wouldn’t use the word happy when disaster strikes, or when we lose a loved one.

So, I’m preferring to call it Grace.

Grace is given freely. You can imagine what grace is—it’s a calmness in the storm. It’s a belief that you are here for a reason, and that life is a gift. It is something that happens when you drop the fight.

It’s like the muse who comes and sits on our shoulder once we commit to doing the work our souls call us to do. 

As Pressfield says, our work isn’t always good, but we’re doing it.

I am struck by the fact that I am the only person looking through my eyes. I am the only person feeling the breeze against my skin. If I were my sister, I wouldn’t feel it—she would. And when I’m gone, there will be one less person to appreciate the beauty and joys we have.

Take pleasure in your life!

I love you,
Joyce

Some happy pictures I snapped around this place.

Blowing bubbles


 Mangos, no reason, just pretty. I bought two.
 

Pink dogwood trees are abundant where we live. I love them.
 

 

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