Lately I’ve been having people tell me I’m inspirational. This is funny to me, because I feel like I’m not that inspirational. I struggle with the same daily issues everyone else does. I wake up in pain, agony, and wondering what I did to deserve it. Then I smile, and remind myself it could always be worse. I don’t consider it inspirational most mornings. And I didn’t used to wake up automatically happy. It took a lot of work and cultivation of thought.
Something as easy as a smile can make people feel good, so why wouldn’t I smile more? Telling someone they did a good job on a project they’ve been working on costs me nothing, but I gain the beauty of their joy plastered across their face, only because I took the time to tell them that thing they know is beautiful really is beautiful. And when I was raised, I was taught to thank people that help you. Even if it’s big, small, or if they do it with indifference. People still appreciate knowing their efforts were appreciated.
I’ve learned that Happiness is a state of mind. Even on days when I wake up, the feeling of an ice pick buried in my back, I know that how I choose to accept the day will shape my view. If I choose to say, “Oh god, my back hurts, and it’s the worst thing ever!” I find myself huddling in on myself, and complaining about the pain. But when I wake up and go, “My back hurts, but that’s okay because it’s only telling me I’m alive!” I find the rest of the day seems to pass by with greater ease. Not always, but often enough to make it easy to cultivate the happy thoughts.
The situation is the same, the only thing that’s changed is my view. I’ve chosen to take the high path, and look at the positive.
Not ignore the negative, in true balance there’s negative as well as positive. Bad things happen in life, and denying them won’t make them stop. But I can choose how I react to that bad thing. I had a car, that while not perfect, was run into the ground by a friend. For the longest time, I was angry and upset, felt like I had been used. I wanted to rip that person up one side, and down the other. Let them know how I felt about my dead car. And I did, at first.
But as time went on, I saw that it wasn’t serving me. My anger was doing nothing but clouding my judgment and making my own life more difficult. So, I instead resolved not to let that person use my car again, and moved on from that issue.
Now this same friend is experiencing their own issues, and struggling to deal with them. I still offer a helping hand when I can, even though this is someone who is so self absorbed they probably don’t even realize I’m still not happy with them. But I’m happy I let go of the anger in my heart.
And I can’t describe the joy I feel knowing that. I haven’t let them affect me, as I used to. This is leading to my happiness. I’m a guy who usually has a ready smile, and is willing to share it with the world. I always considered that to be enough to earn me the lofty status of “Happy”.
But now I see the truth, happiness is there even when you’re sad and frowning, or angry and storming. It’s there to pick up the pieces of you scattered across the lands when a particularly heartbreaking event happens.
Happiness is a state of mind. It just is.