Just a thought… The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go. [Dodinsky]
I’m going to call today’s journal Wednesday Wisdom, although truthfully these words – not mine, mind you – are Monday Motivation, Tuesday Truth, Saturday Sanity – you name it.
They come from the Dalai Lama. And although these words hit home when I first read them Monday, they hit even harder yesterday. I’d just come out of the studio after recording two-plus hours for a series of children’s books. To say it went well was an understatement and I am just so excited about this project.
Then, as I sat with my celebratory coffee, looking out at passing boats on the ocean below us, I scrolled through Twitter and found my mood plummeting. I read that the US had pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, a move described by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour as “possibly the greatest deliberate act of self-harm and self-sabotage in geo-strategic politics in the modern era.”
So there was that.
Then – on a much lesser scale in world importance, but one that was sickening just the same – the news of Roberto Osuna facing a domestic assault charge.
While the weight of these stories was sinking in, I reflected on these words from the Dalai Lama.
Sometimes it takes looking at the ocean or counting stars in a clear night sky to remind ourselves of how tiny we are, how small. I’ll walk past cemeteries – or through them, as I used to do when we lived near Mount Pleasant in Toronto – and remember just how fleeting this hour upon the stage, as Shakespeare put it, truly is. We all have our tragedies. We all face sadness and joy and, if we’re lucky, the latter outweighs the former. It’s just trying to remember moment to moment where to place the emphasis.
And in the end, 100 years – or even 20 years from now – will any of what we fixated upon or worried about today even matter? Of course, when we’re talking about nuclear armaments and escalated tension and danger, that’s something a little more than hurt feelings over what someone did or didn’t say or do to you. And if the orange dictator could get over what the president at the time said to hurt his feelings at a White House dinner all those years ago, we might not even be in this situation. But I digress.
All that really matters is joy. Finding happiness in the moments you have with family and those you love – and who love you – as well as in nature. It’s spending time with whomever or whatever makes you smile.
It’s sharing and giving, and letting go of anger and grudges.
Because, in the end, as the Dalai Lama says, life’s purpose is to be happy. It’s not in the having or acquiring or the buying or the hoarding. It’s in having an open heart, an open mind and a life that is open to joy.
Here’s to finding happiness and holding onto it for dear life.
Talk to you here tomorrow.