Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On Being Happy

Be grateful. This morning you woke up. You are living and breathing. You were granted today, which cannot be said for many, many other people. Realize how enormous of a privilege that is. Remember how quickly it can be taken away. Understand your own mortality and more importantly- that of the ones you love. Let that sink in and decide that today will not be wasted. Let the people you care about know that you care about them. Be thankful for your crazy mother who would give her life in a second if it meant saving yours; your significant other who sheds blood, sweat, and tears in the endless pursuit to make you happy; your beautiful friends who listen to your every complaint and validate your petty concerns. Tell them you love them. 
Accept change. One of the pillars of Buddhism stresses that the inability to embrace change is the root of suffering. Realize that holding onto something for the sake of fear will only bring pain. Learn to let go. See change as an opportunity rather than a punishment. Stop resisting the ebb and flow and just float.
Love. Begin with yourself. Know that you are enough. Accept that your thighs will always touch and your hair will never be just right, but know that despite that, you are beautiful. Take pride in your quirks, but address your fatal flaws. There is a difference between your charming hardheadedness and a stubbornness that chips away at your relationships. Learn that difference and work on changing for the better. Gather the courage to be your own best friend- understand that there will be (terrible) times where you are all you have and if you can’t pick yourself off of the ground, who else will?
Then begin with the people in your life who deserve it. Take care of your mother. Call her every once in awhile- she misses you. Recognize the difficulty of bringing a child into this world (labor alone lasted 16 hours, don’t forget) and raising it. Appreciate the decades of effort that have gone into providing for you, ensuring your health and happiness, and most importantly- loving you so unconditionally. You have no idea what a love like that is like, so admire your mother for her utter and absolute selflessness. Aspire to be as good to your child one day as she has been to you.
Vow to be better in your relationship. Truly believe him when he tells you he loves you and believe the magnitude of those feelings. Remember the way he looks at you when he’s happy, remember the way he sings your favorite song, remember how he kisses you when he means it. Do not take these things for granted. Do not forget them when he fails to live up to your impossible standards. He is not perfect, but you are far less so, and he loves you in spite of that. Know that you are extremely lucky to have the love of another human being. Hurt deeply when you realize you’ve hurt them. Put your entire heart into it and don’t be frightened. Learn the hard way if it’s not enough, but don’t let that stop you from trying.
Take responsibility for your own happiness. This is no one else’s responsibility but your own. The world, nor anyone in it for that matter, does not owe you anything. You are not entitled to happiness, it is a choice. Choose it