Monday, January 16, 2017
Mindful Monday: Happy Or Sad?
Lately I've been thinking a lot about happiness. Simply put, I think most of us want to be happy, because the alternative is to be...unhappy. Which doesn't sound like a very nice way to go through life.
A few months ago, my husband told me that I didn't seem to be happy. His intent wasn't to be mean or argumentative, but he was concerned. My initial reaction was surprise, because at my core, I know I AM happy. Maybe the last year hasn't been the best, but I love my life, and it's good. For days after our talk, I felt really bad that I was projecting unhappiness, and I didn't know what to do.
Then I realized: I was happy, but I was also sad. Yep, I think you can be both, at the same time. And it's okay to be sad, to feel all the feels, and get everything out. But there comes a point where the sadness takes over and starts to define you. It's been a year since my dad passed away, seven months since my uncle died, and four months since my son left for college. Yet here I was, still letting those sad events rule my everyday life, and clearly it was affecting my relationships.
It was time to tuck away the sadness.
I read somewhere that genes contribute 50% to whether you are naturally happy or not. That makes sense, because I know people that exude happiness, no matter what. Apparently they were born that way. Your circumstances make up 10%. And the best part? The other 40% is UP TO YOU.
Which means we control our own happiness. Sometimes it gets buried under things that make us mad, or sad, or deeply hurt. But ultimately, we're in charge. We decide what makes us happy.
For me, it's the simple things. A morning walk on the beach. Snuggling up on the couch with my husband and a movie. A warm bath on a cold day. Reading a good book. A heart to heart with one of the boys. Feeling the sunshine on my face. Lunch with a friend. Taking a deep breath and knowing I am loved.
I will always be sad that my dad and my uncle aren't here anymore, but I'm happy that they were in my life for 49 years. And while I don't love that the boys are growing up and moving on, I'll forever be happy to be mom to these two young men.
Happiness may be an inside job, but it's time to let it out again.