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CHOOSING TO BE HAPPY: THE JOYFULLY NEVER ENDING JOURNEY

Updated: May 12

Keeping a positive mindset during setbacks



 

Beautiful Rose is dedicated to my elegant, talented, intuitive, loving, one-of-a-kind grandmother; my compassionate, kind-hearted, non-judgmental mother; and my strong willed, loyal, fierce defender, secretly highly sensitive daughter. I will not say I miss you because that provokes sadness. Instead I will say I think of you always; every single day of my life. When I think of you my heart smiles. Sometimes I become sad, but then remind myself to focus on the fact that I was lucky enough to have you in my life. It was definitely not enough time. No time could have been enough time!

"Spend time with those you love. One of these days you will either say 'I wish I had.' or 'I'm glad I did." - Zig Ziglar

Beautiful Rose

A beautiful Rose once bloomed.

My life was formed by her Beauty

Love poured out from her elegant soft petals

A rose without a thorn.


From this Rose another Rose bloomed

With beauty beyond compare

I was there

To see more and more love outpoured

My life was also formed by this Beauty

The love she gave poured out to all

A Rose without a thorn,

But was torn - apart

By the thorns in this world.

And still another Rose was born

That transformed - my life.

A beautiful pink bloom

Who took away my gloom

We had such fun this Rose and I

But, I did not know that we were doomed.


For without knowing, her petals I did wilt

She closed her heart, shut it tight to me

Sometimes I feel so filled with guilt

Hoping one day that she will see

For her I would give up my own life

But she does not believe me.

But still I know how blessed I am

To have had these Roses three

And me - just an audience to the love

That I know was sent to me from above

How blessed am I to have had Roses three

That came to be

To compose songs of love for the world and for me.

Now all three have left my life

The song I sing now is one of strife

A gaping hole is in my heart

It came from when they all did part.

When I think of all of the beautiful moments

I begin to cry for the loss

If I’m not careful that’s all I’ll feel

As my thoughts of loss are so surreal

If I’m not careful, these moments that I hold so dear

Will only become distress, I fear


So I will choose to remember these times with gladness

Of these beautiful Roses three

Instead of filling my heart with sadness

I will smile for the memories of times they spent with me.

 

I share this poem from my own deep feelings of blessings and despair from three of the most important women in my life. My intention is to bring hope to all of those who have loved and lost no matter what the circumstance. We do have a choice on where we allow our thoughts to go. We have a choice to make when things happen in our lives, whether it is directly to us or just around us. We can take our thoughts and focus on the blessings. Whether those blessings are easy to see or if they take some deep analysis to find, it is still our choice.


We can look at a loss with gratitude that we had an opportunity to experience the blessing in the first place. Or, we can feel the loss down to our core talking ourself into a deep place of hopelessness - losing all hope for the days ahead. In my opinion, and actually many psychological studies would agree, it is best to surround ourselves with people who will support us in our goal to stay positive.


If you decide to share your feelings, find people who will lift you up. Try to avoid sharing with people who might say things like “I can’t believe you can be happy with all of this happening in your life.” Or, “How are you not crying about this?” Or, as someone said to my friend that was given the news she had stage four cancer, “I can’t believe you’re okay with this news. I would be devastated. I wouldn’t even be able to get out of bed.”


This type of comment could send you into a tizzy and set your mind a spinnin’. This kind of comment may cause you to have thoughts that being positive during difficult times is wrong. Well, it is not wrong. If your not denying the reality of things, it is fantastic and amazing to be in a place of acceptance. It is a remarkable mindset to be in because you are starting the journey of healing from a place of positivity which is essential to becoming healthy again! This type of attitude gives you clarity and the strength to take on the challenges that lie ahead. When you decide to share, choose people who will say, “You’re such an inspiration of hope and happiness." "It’s amazing how you stay focused on the positive outcome of this." "Your faith and strength give me hope in my own life!”


Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with feeling sad or angry or anxious or whatever about anything that is happening in your life. There are many opinions about “feeling feelings” - whether or not to feel your feelings. Some say dig down deep to find them; face them; feel them so you can move forward. Some say let the past go and just live in the now. Anything that has happened in the past has passed, let it go. “I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” – Alan Wilson Watts


I am of the mindset to “feel your feelings.” I like to acknowledge they’re there and then release them. “We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it.” – Lyndon B. Johnson. I choose to feel then let go with gratitude that my mind and body alerted me to their presence. There are times when feelings from the same situation come up over and over again; throughout many years and sometimes out of nowhere. I believe these feelings allow me to understand where I stand emotionally at any given moment. This allows me to be aware and able to make a conscious choice to be happy in the now.

I do believe there is benefit in occasionally digging deep to find what is lurking in our quirky and sometimes cunning subconscious mind. While many of Freud’s theories have been debunked, he was a pioneer to understanding the mind. He is still considered to be the “father of psychoanalysis.” The iceberg analogy inspired by Freud is brilliant and so eloquently accurate. What we see is just a small portion of what is actually lies beneath the surface. We cannot begin to understand what lies in the deep, if we are not brave enough to endure the freezing waters to explore those submerged truths. Although, we could go down another maelstrom (vortex in the ocean) about what actually is the truth? There’s a lot goin’ on under that water line that separates the conscious from the unconscious mind. If we never deep dive, we may never find our path to true happiness.

“Although humans rarely die from trauma, if we do not resolve it, our lives can be severely diminished by its effects. Some people have even described this situation as a “living death.”―Peter A. Levine, Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body

I recently discovered that something I thought I had moved on from had never been truly addressed. Knowing the usual repercussions of this type of occurrence, I lived almost my entire life believing I escaped the normal behavior and patterns that occur from this type of trauma. Decades after the occurrence, I was triggered. It wasn’t what the person in this present moment did that caused me to react like a toddler. It was the trauma that occurred to me when I was just shy of three years old. While in the moment I was very hurt and angry at the action of this person, the next day I realized it was a trigger when this person and I sat down to discuss what happened during our interaction. The use of these specific words used to describe my reaction to his actions is what enlightened me. I had “acted like a toddler having a tantrum.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I have had my moments of outbursts in various situations, but I had never “thrown a tantrum.” It was these words that brought me to a realization that was a long time coming. The present event that occurred triggered the memory of the day my father abandoned my entire family - the day he abandoned ME. And that my friend is a story for another blog…


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