Sunday, January 17, 2016
Deserving to be Happy
I've always struggled with this, even as a child. Being happy I mean. I think much of it had to do with the inculcated "vale of tears" philosophy of my Irish RC upbringing. The suspicious questions if I did look happy, given by all around me, teachers, priests, relatives: "And what are you looking so happy about?" as if it were a bad thing, as if I was up to no good. So yeah, happy became a burden, not to be flaunted, hidden away secretly, not talked about - I mean with all that suffering going on in the world, why would you be the one showing off there with your silly smile? Think of the starving orphans, those "Black Babies" in Africa, now wipe that grin off your face.
Shouldn't happiness be our default position in life? Allowing for the timeouts of grief and sadness and disappointment you'd think 90% of our lives should be filled with joy, bliss even. But no. I fight it at times. That old guilt thing again. Life would be better if.....only my knees didn't hurt....I had more money.....my health was better.
I was preparing a workshop today, #3 in a series I'm giving. I love this work. It is gratifying to see the large class, to be the encourager, the catalyst, the igniter at times. And I was reviewing and notating last week's homework and I realized how truly happy I was doing this work, loving this work. Not over the moon stuff, but a contentment that this is exactly the kind of life I'm meant to be living. A life that's making me happy.
I was on my occasional library shift yesterday and again, I got swept up in that feeling without being conscious of it then, as I stamped books and chatted with patrons about reading. That yes, this, this is exactly what I should be doing.
And hell, how happy is that?