“So I’ve been thinking about this whole being happy thing, and I feel like people get lost when they think of happiness as a destination. We are always thinking that someday we’ll be happy; we’ll get that car or that job or that person in our lives that’ll fix everything. But happiness is a mood, and it’s a condition, not a destination. It’s like being tired or hungry, it’s not permanent. it comes and goes, and that’s okay. And I feel like if people thought of it that way, they’d find happiness more often.”
One Tree Hill
I just want to preface this post with letting you know I have never seen the television show: One Tree Hill. I was a child of the Eighties and early Nineties and my shows ranged from: The Wonder Years to Beverly Hills 90210 (the real one!) However, I would like to see this show as I have come across many quotations and ideas that truly resonate with me and I absolutely love the above philosophy about happiness. When I first read it, I immediately thought of the line: “Feelings are like visitors. You just need to let them come and go.” There seems to be this major iinfatuation with being happy all the time. The song, which my daughter adores still by Pharrell Williams: ‘Happy’; the amazing book written by Gretchen Rubin: “The Happiness Project”‘ and even movies such as: “The Pursuit of Happiness” with Will Smith. If you have yet to read author, Gretchen Rubin’s book: The Happiness Project, I strongly urge you to pick up a copy. It is easy reading and shows different ways to find happiness but is also very honest in that forcing happiness or expecting to be happy all the time is just not possible.
How many of you worry about being happy or making your loved ones happy? I think we spend more time worrying about being happy than just being and allowing happiness to come to us. Did you plan the happiest moments of your life? Clearly, I am not speaking of your wedding day or the birth of your child because family is everything to me and the day we welcomed Kayci into this world was the happiest day of my life. I am writing about planning the sunny days where you randomly ended up taking a walk or the moments that you laughed so hard it literally hurt. I do not remember much of my summer in grade 10, that is about twenty years ago: wow that just hit me! But there is one moment I remember vividly. I was at the beach for a week with my mom, brother, and my friend Kaitlin. My younger brother, Kaitlin and I rented a surrey one morning (a bicycle made for four) and my brother was in charge of steering the “car” down the boardwalk where there are people running, riding bikes, and shopping everywhere. My brother is about five years younger than me so maybe I should have been steering? I don’t even know how or why we rented this surrey but I will never forget my brother steering us down a hill off the boardwalk into the road and I laughed to the point that I peed my pants: literally, there was pee everywhere. The three of us were hysterically laughing and that is pure happiness. I definitely did not plan on peeing my pants nor did my brother plan on steering the wrong way into people, down a huge hill, and onto the road. We cannot always plan happiness. I am sure that little adnadote/story was not funny to any of you. We all have those memories that are hilarious in our minds but once said aloud realize how not funny what we just said was and leave off with a: “Guess ya had to be there.”
We resist pain, sadness, hurt and expend an enormous amount of energy trying to be happy. Maybe we should stop trying so hard. You are allowed to be sad, hurt, and angry at times just do not put up a tent and camp out with those feelings for too long. I am in a good place with chronic pain but yesterday/last night was a “difficult time.” I cannot really resist the pain or fight it because I have already accepted pain as a part of my life and know I will wake up and a new day will be here. I used to lie in bed worrying till dawn about how much pain I would be in the next day. I no longer do that. There are times I cannot sleep but I never think: “Oh my God, what will my pain level be tomorrow?” I did that for over a decade and that pattern of thinking clearly only made me think about pain more. Are we trying too hard to resist the bad? Are we trying too hard to be happy?
Again: Feelings are like visitors, let them come and go.