The Happiness Muscle: Untangling the Mess

The Happiness Muscle: Untangling the Mess

- in Top News, Columns

Happiness MuscleOur lives are all going in different directions like spirals of blue yarn attacked by a playful cat. All the different tugs, swirls and twists that happen can sometimes leave piles of tangles. Untangling these messes can be a lengthy and complex matter. When life is hurrying us here and rushing us there it seems almost second nature to grab the pile and put it in a box and shove it under our bed to deal with another day. The problem with this is that we seem to always be in a rush to go somewhere or we just find any excuse to not deal with those previous messes.

The dust collects on these boxes and over time we forget that these messes are even still there. So we go day to day taking our messes, putting them in boxes and shoving them out of sight. This works fine for awhile until you reach to shove a box only to find you have no room left. You push harder trying to squish it in but that only shoves out a bunch of boxes that you had forgotten about. The lids pop off and instantly you feel sick. All of these messes and tangles are so much worse now. Even looking at them seems impossible.

This is what people can do with their emotional and life problems as well. When bad things happen it is important to be honest about it and grieve properly. It is important to say the words that need to be said and do the things that need to be done because sometimes if you wait you will never get the chance.

Our lives are full of mistakes and heartaches but that doesn’t mean that we are doomed to be miserable forever. Don’t feel discouraged if you have a list of things in your life that have pushed you flat on your face and made you feel like life was less than desirable. Getting up is hard but definitely worth it. Remember, don’t forget to let yourself grieve.

Get Kleenex and a journal and write down everything you can think of that has ever upset you and then just cry. This is what I do. I cry and hold myself till I have no more tears.

Comfort yourself like you would a close friend. It is not your fault that life dealt you some crappy cards and it isn’t bad to feel upset about it. Real friends love each other and forgive, so do this for yourself. Be a real friend to yourself. If there is anything that you are holding onto that causes you emotional pain, let it go. Accept that it happened and forgive yourself. We all do the best we can and everything in life is a learning experience. We are all perfectly imperfect but we all have our basic humanity in common.

Be kind to yourself and others. Some pointers for leaving under your bed clear of messes: If someone crosses a boundary of yours, let them know firmly and with compassion. If you feel inclined to say something mean or judgmental ask yourself, “Why is this really bothering me?” and answer it honestly. If you are feeling intimidated by a person, then it can be easy to find faults with them. Instead, focus on how you have just as many good qualities as they do. We are all very different and our paths lead to different destinations and this is exactly as it should be. The goal in life is not to get ahead, win or be better than others, it is to be our best self and try to nurture all of our positive qualities in order to enjoy our lives as much as possible.

Think for a second of a time when a friend of yours has expressed insecurity and you wanted to make a vulgar gag noise because of how inaccurate they were in describing themselves. Your super attractive friends who complain they are too fat or not pretty or the friends who complain about living a sub-par life after returning from a month in Bali. These people are feeling low about themselves, the same way that you feel sometimes. I am sure your insecurities look silly to them, too.

On that note, make sure you tell your friends and people who you love in your life how amazing they are. We are all quite amazing. It may seem like they don’t need to hear it because they are so incredible, but I can personally say that it is always nice to hear nice things. Also they could get hit by a bus tomorrow so you should tell them now how much you love them because life is crazy like that. You don’t ever want to wish that you had told someone how much you loved them when you had the chance.

There is so much love and beauty to experience in the world, but it can be easy to forget that when daily life troubles pop up. The process of growing up emotionally has growing pains just like physical growth, but it is even harder because it only happens if you really want it to. Make the choice to try. Life is so incredible and the people we get to share it with are gifts. Don’t forget to say thank you every day for all of the wonderful people, things and experiences that you get to have. As my favorite childhood author Dr. Suess says, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Be grateful and compassionate everyday and it will get easier.



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