One of my closest friend’s father passed away last week. I had been a bystander observing how she had been dealing with her father’s declining health over the last few years. The closeness between them reminded me of that I had with my father. My father had pass on for over 30 years. I see now how much my father had loved and cherished me. As a younger man then, I may not be compliant to the ways my dad had showed me his affection, but now as an older man, I really got it – they were his ways. They were the only ways that he knew to show his caring and love toward me. Right now, my heart is completely filled with love from my father. I made my peace.
My friend’s father is a bundle of joy. He ignited the kid in me. I did not know him well. I saw him as a free-spirited bubble bouncing around with laughter. Uncle, thank you for giving me the permission to be that as well. I am happy to have known you in this life time.
I am deep grateful of my friend in sharing with me her journey with her father. Her journey allows me to be prepared and in touch of inevitable passing of those close to me in the future. And perhaps, in dealing with my own eventual journey.
A friend of mine started posting 3 things that he was grateful of everyday for 30 days on Facebook. Reading his postings everyday gave me joy. His gestures of appreciation nudged me to think of the things that I was grateful of as well at those moments. It was a very interesting exercise. When I decided to honor all these items, events, or people with gratitude, I sensed my heart opened up and everything within me softened. All my angst and intensity inside melted away. Some of these events were not pleasant when they happened. But later, I realized they actually came with gift of big learning and experience. When I decided to be grateful of their occurrence, I no longer viewed them negatively.
The more I show my gratitude toward, the happier and calmer I feel within.
Today, I am very grateful:
to my ex-partner. The relationship with him was a stepping stone to an opened door which led to an amazing journey of self-realization and discovery. It prepared me for the current love relationship and marriage.
of a great meeting with a product sales rep.
of a great dinner prepared by my forever loving husband. I emailed him a photo I took of a recipe and I came home to eat it. I am totally spoiled.
When I first started to examine my happiness, I realized my happiness was all linked to past event. I could easy think of times in the past that I felt happy such as the day I got married; the two years that I backpacked around the world etc. my happiness is never about NOW!
So what does happiness feel like? I don’t know. I am not even sure one can describe the feeling. I think happiness could be a state of mind. This state of mind is an end product of a set of many conditions. And everyone has their own set. In other words, what make me happy may not make you happy.
My first step was to find out what don’t I need or what not needs to happen for me to be in touch with happiness. The first thing that jump out of me was WORRY. Yes, I would feel happy if I do not worry. It may not be possible not to have any worries at all as long as I am still alive but I am not totally discounting that possibility. I started asking myself, “Am I worrying now?” If I did not feel that I was worrying, I would say to myself,” I am happy NOW“. For that moment, I was happy because nothing was bothering me. I didn’t care about the next minute. I was more focus on my state of being at the moment. As I am typing out this blog, I feel that I am not worry about anything at all. So I am happy now.
After about 2 weeks, it became quite habitual. I would check in quite periodically throughout the day at my worry/happiness meter. By naming those worry free moments with “I am happy now”, I realized that a) I was actually making a mark or a gauge of my sense or feeling of happiness; and b) I was declaring that I was still on track. At this point, my happiness is a result of calmness. I understand this is only one layer and there will be more as I discover more in the future. I was also surprised that I was worry free 90% of the whole last 2 week. So I could say that I was 90% happy for that period. In that, I could say that “I am quite happy most of the time”.
So, what will I do or what will happen if something huge happens that pushes me completely off the center? How can I remain happy in bad times? I don’t know. I will deal with that when the time comes. For now, at this moment, I am very happy.