Waking up with a smile on my face is ideal, but let’s be real – it doesn’t happen every day! If it did, that might actually be creepy. I’m not a Stepford wife, nor is life perfect here in Hopedale, so CONSTANT happiness isn’t realistic! The trick, I’ve found, is continuing to pay attention to how I feel. If I’m feeling blue, there’s probably a good reason for it – so ignoring or suppressing that feeling isn’t healthy or smart. In fact, we just watched Inside Out (Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Producers Guild of America winner for Best Animated Feature) and one of the key themes is about embracing ALL feelings – even the blue ones. The movie is wonderful! It made us laugh and cry, and the theme served as a much-appreciated reminder of the power of emotions; especially the unheeded ones. My husband brought Inside Out home from the store because I needed a good laugh, but the message of the movie was equally valuable.
I’ve written about choosing happiness and why it’s critical to pursue what your heart wants, and I firmly stand by those feelings – they were and are valid, but so are sadness and the blues. Especially on a cloudy day like today *sigh*.
I do believe that lifelong happiness is a choice; all things equal, if there’s a roof over my head and I have my health, that is a lot to be thankful for. I think it’s very easy in today’s world, especially in this country, to get wrapped up in who has the newest whatever, who is making more money, even plant envy when my neighbors flowers seem to grow so much faster than mine. But the reality of the fact is that life is really good! And that doesn’t take away at all from the very real feelings of sadness and the blues. When those around me suffer, I suffer a little bit along with them. I have tried for years to let it be, let it go, help, not help, help exactly the right amount, and focus on myself – all in hopes of my own happiness as a force that shares light and love with the others around me, lifting them up and bringing them some joy! And that’s all good stuff, there’s nothing wrong with any of it.
But again, it’s just me at the end of the day. I was born with me, I will die with me, every morning I wake up with me and I go to sleep with me. I’m wildly lucky that I have an amazing husband who definitely helps with both the cheering up, and the recognizing and embracing the hard times with me. But I have to keep an eye out for #1 – plus, that allows me to be even more wonderful for my husband 🙂 We each need to have our OWN back. SO what does that mean?
Well, for starters, it’s embracing our emotions. Not just the giddy ones! If I wake up and feel sad, I’ll take an extra minute to close my eyes again (careful not to fall back to sleep!) and snuggle closer to my husband, and feel the softness of our puppy’s ears; offering comfort to them both and seeking it myself. I might give myself an extra gentle yoga session, staying in child’s pose a lot of the time, allowing myself to just breathe and feel what I’m feeling.
Those moments of embracing the emotion, I have found, are critical. I tend to run through life and I usually have a lot of fun doing it! But that pace can mean that I have a tendency to run right past some important thoughts or emotions. I have learned to double-check an email before I send it, to think through what I say before I say it (most of the time!) and to listen more carefully when others speak – to focus on what they’re saying instead of my next response.
Now what I’m working on is paying more attention to me. And I’ve found that in doing so, I can also be more open with those around me. Yesterday I told my husband that I had a case of the Monday blues and asked if we could do something fun. He then knew what I needed because I had figured it out and told him, and we spent a wonderful evening together, just hanging out low-key, and I felt much better this morning. I wouldn’t say I needed time to sulk exactly, I was just giving myself a little time in that emotion, instead of trying to force doing something that I didn’t want to, and feeling miserable about it. Except going to work. Let’s be honest – work was a little tough, as it tends to be on Mondays 🙂
See, I even feel better after having written this post! Now, because I do prefer happiness over sadness, and I did allow myself to lick my wounds and embrace the blues yesterday, I’m going to read my post about happiness, and go listen to funky music to help put a smile on my face and a dance move in my step!
May as well make others laugh as I work to cheer myself up 🙂 How do you embrace your emotions? Ben & Jerry’s and chick flicks? Cooking? Bring on the realness, we all get sad and that’s ok!! 🙂
Thanks for reading, even when it’s just sharing feelings. Joy (from Inside Out) would be proud!
A Happy Wife 🙂