Happy is the best choice you can make I


Published: Thursday, August 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 1, 2002 at 12:00 a.m.
just painted my front door a bright yellow. I added an asymmetrical swag in shades of purple and green. Then I gave a candle to the angel that stands amidst the flowers to welcome guests.
I wanted a happy door. And there was nobody stopping me.
What makes your heart smile? Last Saturday my friend was planning to cook dinner for me. During the course of a leisurely afternoon, we picked up lobster bisque at the seafood market instead.
He opted to enjoy me rather than impress me. I'm glad - because I have more fun being enjoyed than being impressed.
Once we love who we are - and consequently those we are with - we are less motivated to feed our egos.
We are more apt to revel in simply being. And, ironically, that can be very impressive.
But, even then, we can be so programmed to live, and excel, by society's standards that we choose the predictable, the I'm-trying-to-impress-you, the boring over the happy.
That can mean choosing time constraints over spontaneity, preparation over communicating, observing over participating.
Prep time for dinner may be only 30 minutes, but that's enough time to express your joys and relieve your fears. It's enough time to go for a walk.
And do you have any idea how many kisses you can get in 30 minutes?
Choosing what feels happy may mean choosing a bright yellow door over a brown one, a mango over an apple, a deliberate kiss over an out-of-habit one.
It may mean wrapping up in a big sheet together and gazing at the moon, instead of reading.
Choosing to follow your bliss - whatever it looks like - means living a happier life. It's an obvious choice, I know, but we don't always make it.
There's grass to mow, maybe a couple of cars to wash, a house to clean, a living to earn. There are family and social obligations. And all of those are more important than happy, right?
"There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy," said Robert Louis Stevenson.
There is nothing more important than happy. Real happiness only comes from being true to who we are.
All those little things, little choices are part of it. They lead to bigger. And they come together to make huge. They come together to make a life.
When we are too busy to notice somebody's smile, we set the stage to miss another smile. Then, maybe, we start to develop a pattern.
Conversely, if we look for a smile, if we initiate a smile, it feels good. It feels so good that we want to do it again, and again. We set the stage for happy - and happy shows up.
I've run the numbers; it is less time consuming to greet somebody with enthusiasm and share your joy than it is to offer excuses for rushing away.
People make events; events don't make people. And you are significantly more apt to regret wearing brown hats than purple ones.
Maybe you have been ruling out the happy choices for so long that you are oblivious to them. Please consider what you are missing. Please consider what you are not sharing with those you love.
Joseph Campbell explained that we are having experiences all the time which render some sense, some little intuition, of where our bliss is. His advice? "Grab it."
You may not want a bright yellow door, but I bet you want a happy door. And there is nobody stopping you.
Jan Denise Soroka is a columnist, author and speaker based in Florida. She invites comments and questions through her Web site at www.nakedrelationships.com; or by mail at c/o The Gainesville Sun, Features Department, P.O. Box 147147, Gainesville, Fla. 32614-7147.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top