Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"There is no key to happiness, the door is always open"

Happiness, sometimes such a fickle emotion. So many things that drift through our realities can dictate whether or not someone is happy. A small shift, a funny look, a coarse word, a bad driver... all these things can take our off your happiness course in a matter of seconds. If you let it!

Hormones, in my world, are my greatest enemy when it comes to fluctuating mood! And, part of what helps me to stay happy even through those dark, PMS-ing days, is to recognize that it is hormones and not some universal force that has decided to gang up on me and make me hate the world! I laugh as I write this, because the dangers of PMS are a worldwide phenomenon that most people can relate to! And, I am not impervious to all the negative emotions that counter happiness... not by a stretch!

Back to recognizing... when we take the time to understand ourselves, our cycles, our triggers, our "best times" of the day and our "worst times" of the day, we can then formulate strategies that help us to improve upon them and even overcome.

For example, my parents are my very best friends and my constant support system. They are the people that I depend on the most. They are also the people that can push my buttons like no other! I suppose when you know someone so well, it's easy to know the dark parts too, and for they to know yours. Recently, I was talking with my father on the phone and both of us at some point stopped listening to one another and started creating assumptions. And that, my friend, is when the trouble started. We started yelling at each other over the phone and even going as far as to use obscenities. At some point, it dawned on me that he had been hitting my buttons, not because he was intentionally trying to provoke me, just because he had his own set of patterns and I was triggering him with mine! Once I had the conscious awareness that that was what was happening, I was able to soften my tone and allow myself to fully listen to him before responding. Once he felt heard, he was able to reciprocate by listening to me. That was when we were able to acknowledge that we were both wrong in our assumptions of what the other was trying to communicate. One phone call, totally spun out of control and then back into balance just by recognizing what was happening.

Sometimes the recognition comes too late. Our triggers run deep, friends. We have some pretty solid patterns of behavior that take time and conscious awareness to to get control of. But, we have the ablility to gain that control, one day at a time, one awareness at a time.

Happiness is one of the things we can become more and more aware of and make conscious choices to become. If our lives are full of unhappiness, notice what small, incremental changes we can employ to dive into a life of happiness instead! Complete change takes time, so creating the expectation that happiness from unhappiness will happen overnight is unrealistic. That's not to say that it can't happen, just that more often than not it takes a conscious effort of paying attention and fine tuning your behavior and life choices as you go.

Happiness is a journey, but one that has amazing pitstops along the way, some of which will be so frustrating that they can only be there to help us to better notice and be grateful for the golden ones. Go and enjoy your journey of being happy!

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