Wouldnt it be nice if all these Happiness Posts were jammed full of flowers and fun, joy gratitude and delight ? I'd dearly love if they were - but they won’t be.
There are already blogs about Happiness, about how to cultivate greater Happiness. That’s great, but that's not the point of this particular blog. This Happiness Experiment blog is about something quite different. As I wrote a couple weeks ago in a post called Don't Tell Me What To Do this blog isn’t meant as a How to Be Happy instruction book. Instead, we might call it
One Woman's Quest for a Happier Way of Being
This is the ongoing story of my adventures with the subtle process whereby a less than comfortable dominant emotional state is exchanged for a different and more pleasant state.
In this case, I'm attempting to trade in my usual melancholia for a happier state of mind. The swap could just as easily be the exchange of any low-ish emotional state for a more pleasant one:
I don't know of anyone else who blogs about it, however, who records the twists and turns, the pitfalls and detours along the way's what I aim to do.
It seems to me to be a do-it-yourself construction zone.
NOTE: If you know of anyone else who writes about going down this particular road, for goodness sakes tell me about them in COMMENTS below. Much as I like the adventure of creating my own route, it would be even better to have a mentor to follow.)
Meanwhile, back to the do-it-myself project.
First Thing: Being Aware of the Starting Line
This week, I spent a lot of time in the old familiar swamp of discouragement. This sound familiar?
Why do I even try? I just keep backsliding into the blues. Optimism is for idiots. Nothing's ever going to change, etc. ad nauseum.
What the heck is this glum mood all about? Is it physical? No, my physical health is pretty good, by God’s grace. Is it something around my relationship? I have been fretting a bit about a friend who’s going through a hard time, but no, that’s compassion, and compassion doesn’t drag us down like this. The more I look for a reason for this week's prevelant low mood, the less I find one. It’s just my life-as-per-normal, my mood-as-per-normal, that's all. Why fight it? Why can't I just accept that THIS is my dominant emotional state, always has been, why not accept that it always will bet. Heaven knows I’ve dwelt here for so long that it feels utterly familiar and, yes, comfortable in its own uncomfortable way.
“But look here, Elaine,” I tell myself. “You’ve always felt this way, most of the time, but now you are aware of it. That in itself is major Progress!”
When I look at it that way, I have to admit that being aware of my mood, at this level of awareness, is indeed a step in the right direction.
Yes indeed, something is happening in the test-tubes of this Happiness Experiment. I am making progress, albeit slowly. But then, I knew from the get-go that this was (probably) how it would be. That's why I gave myself a year to blog about it.
It would be nice if we could just decide to change out one dominant emotional state for another, and BLAM! The job would be done. It doesn’t work that way, does it?
Nonetheless there's something going on in the test-tubes, and the flowers will surely emerge in the fullness of time. Let us be patient.