The Secret Of Happiness

Today was a bad day. Like lock yourself in your room and cry bad. Fights with my kids, fights with my ex,  hurting people I love and making their day bad because I was hurt and my day was bad bad. The badness started soon after I woke up and went strong halfway through the afternoon.  Then, I decided to forget about my messy apartment, and the dishes that needed to be done, and the laundry that is never finished and we packed up some towels and books and went to the pool. It was there, sitting in the sun with my book, that Jayden, my beautiful 3 year old grandson, taught me the secrets of inner happiness,  I know it sounds far fetched, but he is really smart like that, and I have a secret suspicion he is a Buddhist.

Anyway, watching Jayden play at the pool taught me things I probably already knew, but really needed to be reminded of today. This kid gets it,

1.Be honest. Is that kid ugly?  Is that guy over there mean? Jayden tells it like it is, much to the embarrassment of his grandmother. As adults, we probably dont have to be quite as blunt.  Are you unhappy?  Do you feel you’ve been treated unfairly? Say so. Don’t smile falsely. Don’t write everythings great and awesome and blah blah blah on facebook if things aren’t great and awesome and blah blah blah.    Be open. Be honest. Be real.

2. Cry like your life is over, and then move on. Jayden will sob uncontrollably with very little provocation. The ice cream truck not showing up at the pool will set him off badly enough to get concerned looks from childless adults, and wise, sympathetic smiles from mommy-veterans. If you are sad, go there.  Feel how you feel, then move on. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, because honestly, most people probably think about you very little anyway.

3.Laugh every day. Jayden has a laugh that can make the most miserable person in the world happy. The saying laughter is the best medicine isnt far off the mark. Laughing with Jayden today, I realized I don’t know when I laughed last. It probably hasn’t been that long, maybe a few days…I just don’t remember. I remember almost laughing, I definately remember smiling every day, but if you cant remember exactly when your last good old-fashioned belly laugh was, it’s been too long.

4.Love what you do. I should have put this little tidbit first on my list, its that relevant to my life. If you dont love your job, quit your job. This is not very sound financial advice, but I think it is sound happiness advice. In Buddhism its called natural hierarchy. Do what you love, what you are truly good at. and is the most service to the welfare of others. If you do these three things work then becomes a joy.

5.Forgive quickly and completely. Jayden gets angry at his mom a lot, mostly every time she tells him no. He yells, screams, sometimes he even tells her he doesn’t like her anymore. He storms away, stomping his feet with every bit of energy a three year old can muster, and two minutes later, he is sitting on her lap kissing her cheek and hugging her,  How much better would our adult lives be if we could forgive as easily?

Thanks for a great afternoon Jayden. Come back soon. I promise not to let your wisdom go to waste.

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