April 7, 2015

I was going to immediately tear into some pet peeves following my last post, but decided I needed something a little more positive. What's the opposite of a pet peeve? What little things happen that make me happier?

These little treats are delicious and savory, but often we never actually enjoy them. It is why we're told to STOP to smell the roses. Otherwise, we'll toss them in the trunk and forget them until they no longer smell like much at all and are a crunchy, brown memory of what was. Without practicing constant gratitude, we are at risk of filling our days with bullshit. Well, I am anyway.

"If you have good thoughts
they will shine out of your face like sunbeams
and you will always look lovely." - Roald Dahl

So, anyway, those people who appear to be constantly bragging on Facebook with all of their fun and happy times are assholes. OR or or.... really, they're just targeting what's going well and what's waking them up (of course, let us be real - they also brag methinks). An acquaintance appears on your timeline smiling ear to ear, sipping a cappuccino next to their gorgeous crew of BFFs on a small, mercantile street in South France and then you retaliate with something equal but opposite. You post that you're stuck inside on a rainy day with what must be the flu, a check engine light on your car, and no vacation time because you used it all up on days when work-dread won.

Maybe people do use social networks to brag and the US lags on the work-life balance thing, but you are also, in another perspective, home on a day off of your choice in a nice place, you have a car (whether you enjoy its necessity or not), and you are presumably not plagued by chronic or terminal health issues. The choice of how you present yourself will do nothing but label you as exactly what you wish you weren't. It all brings to mind one very toxic question: "WHY did this happen to ME?" You are victimized and now it's "out of your control." Throw on your shabbiest potato sack and throw the loneliest pity party. No one is rising to the occasion.

Maximizing any opportunity for self-pity turns this customizable dream of a life experience into a nightmare; it causes suffering and throws the brighter side out of focus. If this is what you regularly do, it is what you know best and, so, maybe you darkly revel in it as though it is a comfort.

The unpleasant and unexpected occur in both dreams and nightmares, but when you exist in a life you see as a dream, the unpleasant is the exception. It's a lightmare! When we're younger, happiness is inherent. Well, if you're lucky and don't happen to be one of the many people who, through no choice of their own, have had to carry the burden of childhood traumas from innocence into adulthood.

Once we realize happiness is something that was always "present," it's like the Babadook: you've realized it can exist as something separate from you - if you don't have it, it's still out there and will haunt you forever. The same goes for grief. We've all heard it before, but your perception really is your reality and it can be tamed. Today will one day be a memory you look back on, health will fail, and you will either appreciate the good times for what they were or you will lose even more ground to regret, running the same circles and tracing that imprinted crevasse deeper into a place you do not want to be.


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