Good morning. Rinse out your cup and pull up a chair.
“How I love my morning cup of joe,
Without it I am just so-so.
My attachment to it doth grow,
To get a second cup I go.” – Susan Van Hook
One of the rewarding things about being a writer is being able to connect with readers. And sharing the occasional feedback – always with permission – is rewarding and satisfying. I thought you’d enjoy Susan’s poetry. Thanks, Susan.
A couple of things have been trotting across my mind’s landscape over the past week. Neither seem willing to give way to the other. They’re like a couple of pups each carrying the same stick and neither one wanting to let go. My task, should I choose to accept it, is to figure out how to weave the two into a single theme. I’ll leave it up to you how well I do.
“Well, if they’re happy, I’m happy.”
No. You’re not.
Your needs are not being met. Things you enjoy aren’t happening in your world.
When you love someone you want them to be fulfilled, to have joy in their life. To make them happy brings you a sense of well-being and satisfaction. But to call what you’re feeling happiness is not being totally honest with yourself.
At some point it’s good to give some thought to what best defines YOUR happy place.
Yeah. Your Happy Place. What does it look like? What are your favorite sounds? Tastes? Aromas? Favorite foods? Colors? Music? Books? Friends? And by ‘friends’ we differentiate between those with whom we often associate or work or even play, and those few individuals we REALLY like being around , and would thrill us to hang with if we had OUR choice.
“Familiar” is not the same as “happy”. “Happy” is not normally the same as “what I grew up knowing, hearing and being around”. As a child you weren’t very free to choose much of anything. You accepted what was because, well–it just was.
As an adult, you have the option of choosing your environment and relationships. Exercising that choice isn’t always easy. Not everyone looking and seeming like an adult has grown up enough to set personal boundaries, say “This is as far as I go in this matter” and mean it. And they sure don’t play well with others who do. Watching someone of adult years pout and whine and kick things is saddening.
Our preferences in people and things need to grow up, too. Don’t they?
“Happy” is the sum of things and people that you’d choose if all things were equal and money, time and others’ opinions didn’t matter. If you could be, have and do only what, deep down, you’ve decided YOU really prefer.
No matter what you say you believe you know the difference between right and wrong.
Doing the right thing? Okay, that can get a little complicated. But most have a handle on what’s right and wrong.
Ever notice how mad people get at you for urging them to do the right thing? It’s because down inside they already know it’s the right thing but they’re not ready to do it.
Before lurching any farther into this mindfield, let’s agree that we’ve all been there.
Those who know what’s right and actually do it irritate the socks off those who know it but refuse to accept responsibility for doing it. Part of that is caused because those who are trying to do the right thing almost always mess it up somehow, somewhere. Not their finest owah. Underwhelming performance and all that.
But those who know what the right thing is and always try to do it are miles ahead of all the others because they’re out there doing their best. They’re trying to make the right thing happen.
Knowers fly into a white rage when confronted by Doers. They know their own deficiency. They know it’s intentional. Knowers understand their untenable position only gets worse the longer they excuse knowing without doing. They know their position is ultimately indefensible and that makes them even madder.
That’s the Doers’ fault. They had the temerity to shine light where darkness was comfortable and preferred. How dastardly can you get? I ask you . . .
No one who knows what’s right but refuses to do it can be happy. They can act happy. They can laugh and joke and seem like things are just going swimmingly.
But the laughs are louder than necessary. The jokes are either coarse and barbed with the point aimed at all Doers; or they’re pathetic images of true humor that really aren’t funny at all. And the attempts to act happy don’t fool anyone.
Humor can be found anywhere. That does not mean the one grinning is happy inside.
No one who knows the difference between right and wrong and chooses wrong is ever happy.
Doing the wrong thing breeds more of itself. I’m not the only one who’s been browsing through this part of the moral and ethical aisles. Just this morning I read this:
“Evil deeds do corrupt the world and corrupt the doers . . . . Actions have consequences beyond what one can measure and understand.
Choices and actions corrupt. The cost to family, life–one’s own soul–is incomprehensible and, in terms of Time at least, irretrievable. Sin smooths the way for more sin. Addiction to self-indulgence and ego and an absolute refusal to consider being contrite or willing to turn around and go the other direction make the descent into Hell just that much steeper.
Sin’s wages are death. “Ah, hah!” go the Knowers. “I’m not dead, am I? And I totally reject your use of the term ‘sin’. It no longer applies.”
Yeah. With respect, it does. Bible’s pretty clear: “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” And The Message makes it a little plainer: “In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.”
Your body may not be dead. But what of your dreams? Of your ideals? All the things you had in mind to be and do in this life? How healthy are they? If you’re honest, looking at anyone’s life who’s a Knower without being a Doer, there’s a whole lot in their lives that’s on life support.
You’re the only one who knows for sure what “Happy Place” is like for you. It may have been a long time since you even dared to think about what it’d be like to actually be happy again. Click on the message and give it a good think . . .
It has very little to do with money or stuff. It has everything to do with who and what you are down inside. And if you’re a Knower without being much of a Doer, your Happy Place is a long way off.
The same is true for me. I decided several months ago that the age of 60 was a nice, round age for me to make some long-needed changes in my life. One was to stop letting others’ opinions and preferences steamroll mine when I knew it served no good purpose. I never have minded putting my ‘Happy Place’ on hold in deference to others when I knew it would produce positive results in their lives.
I do mind being consistently used. I do mind having my kindness endlessly absorbed. I do mind being taken advantage of by others – usually Knowers – who have no intention of changing and expect to return again for yet more abuse and self-amusement at my expense.
Not happening. That never has made me happy, but my personality is such that it took me a long time to admit it and begin doing something about it. Should have done it years ago. My bad.
I suggest you not make the same mistake.
Your challenge for the week, 2nd Cupper, is to give some thought to what needs to happen for you to get back to sprucing up your Happy Place. It may well mean setting some personal boundaries that some Knowers in your life have been repeatedly stomping across. It may mean making them unhappy with you for awhile.
They’ll get over it. And down inside where they know better, they may even come to respect you. If so, great. If not, you’ve your own life for which you’re responsible.
So. Kick back for few minutes while you finish your java, and think about what your Happy Place really ought to look like, be like. Then get started.
Spring’s a great time for housecleaning.
© April 2013