If you think you do not have the power to make someone happy, think again.
It doesn’t take money. It doesn’t take position. It doesn’t take intelligence.
It only takes a smile.
Or a thank you.
Or a text.
Or a good wish or prayer.
You don’t even have to walk or talk for that.
(But, if you have money, power, and/or position use those things too.)
The problem with depression is that we spend too much time thinking about what we can’t rather than about what we can do.
Right now, I’m going to think love and send love to someone who needs it.
And the next time I feel useless, I’m going to do the same.
The world is full of people who will never tire of that.
If I just live each day as it passes rather than in fear or resistance of what might happen, I win.
Either way the future goes, I win.
If what I want to happen happens, I will not have wasted my time worrying.
If what I fear happens, I will learn and grow and become stronger (or I will die, which no amount of worrying will prevent). So, I may as well face whatever the future holds with a smile and be heroically sexy. (Courage and power and joy are very attractive.)
The alternatives are the antithesis of sexy:
- self absorption
I choose the attractive, sexy hero option.
“‘Soulshine’ is better than sunshine, better than moonshine…” -The Allman Brothers Band
Where do I get Soulshine?
- smiling at the future
- delighting in others
- laughing at myself
- giving and forgiving
Breathe life back into whatever is dying within you.
Relationships? A breath of fresh air comes with focus on the things we delight in about someone.
Goals? Fresh eyes for your whys.
Work? Life-breath for work comes with wholeheartedness.
Projects? Fresh air flows in with questions versus abdication. (i.e. What would it look like if it were easy?)
I tried it the other day when I was sighing about my stranded suicide prevention project.
I asked myself:
- Is it a worthy project? Yes.
- Have others given their energy for less worthy projects? Yes.
- Do I have confidence that it can help others? Yes.
- Is there one step I can take today on the project? Yes.
And, voila, the project has new life.
- I forget to delight in the people and things around me.
2. I start to compare my situation to others. I begin to envy, pity myself, or focus on petty inconveniences.
3. I start to want things I don’t have.
4. I lose my inner light and strength. I become dark and common.
I wanted to argue with Stephen Hawking about this, but his tenacity made that difficult.
The movie about his life, The Theory of Everything inspired me to let go of my many excuses…
But, I have failed too many times.
But, nobody wants my work.
But, I don’t know what to do next.
But, people will laugh at me.
But, I don’t have connections or anyone to help me.
Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, also reminded me that the success of anyone’s work is the work, not the fame, or the fortune, or what the audience or critics might say about the work.
If there are things inside me that want to be born, why would I shame them into silence with my excuses?
(Original post 2015)
“Some day I will be able to ___________________________ or, I will begin today to _________________________________.”
“It takes time to forgive someone, or today I will refuse to play the victim, and begin to forgive.”
“I know I am unhappy with my life, but I don’t have the _______________ (courage, money, time) to change my life, or today I will start taking baby steps toward my goal.”
“Someday I will be healthier and run a marathon, or today I will begin by walking around my neighborhood.”
“One day I will be happier, or today I will live with joy and gratitude for what I already have.”
“One day someone will love me and change my life, or today I will be my own hero, I will love myself and change my life.”
This quote reminds of the need to recognize my own mystery and possibilities. I seldom associate a drop of water with a majestic ocean or a devastating flood, yet each seemingly insignificant drop has magnificent properties and the imprint of power.
If I want to live as peacefully and as powerfully as water, I must
- surrender to the mystery
- never underestimate my complexity and beauty (and that of others)
- value my connection to the whole
- appreciate my uniqueness and impact (and that of others)
- change willingly and as easily as water changes to ice or vapor
It sounds bizarre to believe the whole world belongs to us when we feel (and most likely have experienced) quite the opposite: poor, helpless, and abandoned.
But, I am starting to understand why it might be true.
Just the other day, while working on a discouraging project, I decided to exchange an attitude of scarcity and defeat for an attitude of hope. It took a day or two, but, I began to…
- attract abundance from “nowhere”
- have new ideas
- feel joy and energy to take steps forward
- be an encouragement instead of a drain to others around me
To know nothing is lacking is to agree with the same abundant Universe that has remarkably sustained me until now.
Said no one.
Yet, learning to welcome criticism is a fast-track to happiness.
To avoid anxiety, indigestion, depression, frustration, fits of anger, revenge, and sleepless nights, learn to be friends with criticism. Because…
- regardless of how right or good we are, others will always misunderstand, disagree, and (inadvertently or purposely) taunt
- criticism is ubiquitous; an international pastime
- criticism reveals gaps in our knowledge
- accepting criticism takes humility and one can’t get enough of that
Self-acceptance conquers the pain of criticism.