John Lennon once said “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” Such a wise little acorn raised from the mightiness of the oak of his mother, no? In the written word, it seems so easy, be happy. Why then do we make happiness such a tragic goal? We wallow in angst, we stay in failed relationships, work at jobs we hate, live miserable little lives achieving nothing, travelling from one drama to another. Why? When we were young and watched drama unfold on TV, did we assume that is what growing up is all about? Gad, if it was, why did we ever choose to grow up?
Happiness shouldn’t be some fleet far off, a “one day soon” concept, it should just be. I might not be the smartest tool in the shed but I know a couple things about Happy. I know it starts with a smile. Smile at the world like you mean it. Say “sorry,” because even if your not sure you mean it, forgiveness inflates air into your soul. Realize that anything worth doing, that one thing you’ve always wanted to try, well its even worth doing badly. Even if you fail, the fact that you experienced this “one thing” should bring healing to your heart. Be grateful. Sit still long enough and just think of three small things to be grateful for. Just three, surely there is something you are grateful for, are you breathing today? Give to someone else. Even if its just time or a kind word. First because it nourishes your soul, but most because, well, it gives that person something to be grateful for. Thats a win-win on the happy scale of life. And most of all, give to yourself. Quit hating on yourself. Yes, you eat too much, drink too much, yell too much, [insert your usual self-loathing comment here]. We all do it to ourselves but we all make mistakes. We are all human as well and humans are not perfect creatures. When you learn to accept yourself, true happiness quickly arises. It does, don’t trust me on this, trust yourself, just try it.
Take from? Sure. Wake up, life is halfway over, and happiness is calling you on the landline. It’s up to you whether you will pick it up or let the answering machine steal it. Will you? There are two more natural highs that create happiness, sunshine and making love. Walking in the sunlight boosts endorphins which boost your sense of “well being” and making love lowers stress, increases levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections, and helps you sleep better at night. On that note, I think I’ll get happy by going outside and walking for a bit. As for the other? Who knows? It is date night afterall. Have a happy, happy, happy Friday night!