As happy does….
October 1, 2011
“I just want you to be happy.”
A simple statement I have heard from two very different people in my life. One, I consider one of my closest friends; the other a friendship that is new and developing.
To be honest, it sort of took me off guard, made me a little…angry. I know that’s a bit extreme, but really, me? Unhappy? Are these two friends crazy…I mean am I not always giggling? Don’t I see the beauty in as much around me as I can? Don’t I work at letting go of the small stuff and it’s all small stuff right?
hmmmm, so as I saw my friend’s eyes shift after the statement was made, I realized that he saw past some of this and saw through to the places I am so good at hiding. I realized that being “happy” is not the same as being “upbeat.” I guess it is better to be upbeat and unhappy than unhappy AND a sad sack…or genuinely happy but a sad sack! So~what is happy? Am I just a giant phony wrapped up in a false smile and a giggle? I don’t really believe that~entirely~but there is truth in there.
Happiness~good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
Joy and pleasure stick out in this definition. How is it that you find joy? Well, it exists in the things we do, right? This is where the gym comes in for me…I am happy when I walk in that door…when I fail at double unders, when I step to the bar and dead lift. I am happy when I sing in the car with my kids, when my 17 year old comes into listen to me read a story to my 11 year old. I am happy when I dance and share conversation with friends. I am happy when I put on the kilt and throw heavy things. I am happy when I work on my script, when I walk into a rehearsal.
I am happy…when I am doing something….even if it’s hard. Happy needs to be a VERB, not a feeling. Much like love. Someone can say they love you, but it is the~act~of loving someone that really matters. That is where the reality is…bringing someone a fresh towel in the shower, making a cup of tea, sharing the time to explore each other’s dreams.
A friend wrote this little gem about being “present” recently that seem to connect to this question of “happy” since I often hear the two ideas linked…
Dear friends, when you stop, and come into the experience you are having right now, when you stop trying to change it, or to make it different, and just have the experience that is present for you right now, ah, your life will change. Your experience will begin to change, and you will begin to discover the profound joy and beauty of life.
As long as you are running from your experience it follows you. It follows you through time, because on some level you chose that experience and until you allow yourself to have it you’re stuck with it. If you want it to change, then stop trying to change it, and instead take the time to feel it.
Whatever it is, if your body is in pain, if your heart is in pain, if you feel confused or afraid, if you don’t have enough money, if someone is being mean to you, just stop. Allow yourself to feel it. Allow yourself to feel the pain. Allow you to feel whatever is happening, and to just be with it. Give yourself a hug while you are in the experience. Be present with it, and then watch what happens.
Being present, being “in the moment,” really means having the experience that you are having, and allowing yourself to be in that experience.
So, happy~actively pursuing things that bring you joy while at the same time allowing yourself to feel, then moving through all of things we experience as human beings.
It really was this physical work that has led me to a place where I can even consider that I deserve to be happy. I don’t feel guilty in the gym when I feel good….so, why can’t I look for that everywhere? Once I really started looking at why my friends said this to me, I looked closely; and as hard as this is to say they are right. I don’t believe I am an unhappy person, but I do know I block myself from fully experiencing joy and many other emotions. I am, though, willing to do the active work that finding happiness will take.
That is another thing that working out at Undisputed gave me (or that I gave to myself from the work in the gym)…clarity of thought that pushed me to stop covering up my feelings with food and inactivity.
I hope giggling is still a part of my happiness….perhaps…just perhaps I will feel it more completely as I continue to seek out joy. Perhaps I will have more to share with everyone in my life.
So now…to feel…. really feel…all of it.
PS..are you …happy?