“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance by our disposition.” ~ Martha Washington
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Okay, this is kind of weird, but lately I’ve been awakened in the middle of the night by a voice in my head telling me a story, or something important for a project I’m working on. I don’t write them down. The important information comes back to me in the morning. Last night, I heard this voice talking about the importance of happiness with tips about how to become happy.
I don’t know why I got this message because over all, I’m pretty happy. I love all of the creative things I’m doing. I’m happily married. I live in a wonderful place with lots of wildlife to enjoy. I have food on the table, a roof over my head, and plenty of mental stimulation. What more could I ask for?
But, I have to say, even though I am mostly happy, there are those days when I fall back into the complaining habit. And I have to remind myself to turn to gratitude for all the great things I have. I have to remind myself to live in the present moment. And in the present moment, I want for nothing. All is well.
Being disgruntled is a disease that humanity has lived with for millennia. I don’t know why we chose it, but we did and I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really tired of it.
I’m a student of A Course In Miracles and in one of the lessons, there is the idea that if we give up trying to defend ourselves, we are protected. This idea kind of goes along with the saying, “What you resist, persists.” Or, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” It feels like we need to stop the reactions and let the dust settle so we can pick up the pieces that serve humanity and throw out the rest.
I know there are crazy things going on in the world right now. And the common wisdom is that we need to protest and demand better treatment, or speak up for justice, or resist the oppressors. And on the one hand I can see that is valid. The way to stop a bully is to stand up to him/her. But I take a cue from Tina Turner. Her husband, Ike, was abusive in the extreme. Once she began practicing Buddhism, she was able to stand up to him without resistance. There is a powerful scene in the movie, What’s Love Got to do With It, staring Angela Bassett as Tina Turner, and Laurence Fishburne as Ike. You might know their story. Finally, when Tina had had enough, she divorces Ike taking with her only her stage name. At one point near the end of the movie Ike comes backstage at a concert that Tina has sold out and tries to intimidate her. But because of what she’s learned from her Buddhist practice, when he threatens her with a gun, she says, “Is that supposed to scare me, huh? … Do what you gonna do, I don’t care.” And eventually after the encounter she walks out to give a roof raising performance. There is more to that scene but you get the idea. She stood up for herself without resistance and in the end, Ike was the one who was afraid.
I’m relating Tina’s story because I see the news and some of it makes me want to rant and rave about the unfairness, or about the need to hold people accountable for their actions. But another part of me says, the only thing I can control are my thoughts and emotions. I can whine and complain about the state of the world, or I can do as Martha Washington says above and be determined to be cheerful and happy no matter what the outer circumstances are. I can be diligent and turn my thoughts and emotions back to happiness, even joy. I just need to keep reminding myself of that fact.
Welcome new followers. Thanks for reading, liking, and commenting on my posts. I’d love to hear what’s going on in your lives at the moment.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2022
The Space Between Time
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, after the last few years, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a podcast where she and her guests discuss their creative endeavors, and/or the stories that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.
Story-Power on Patreon
I’m so passionate about stories that I created the Story-Power podcast and Patreon communities so I’d have an excuse to talk story with other story lovers. If you’re passionate about stories too, and want to talk about what you’ve learned from your favorites, come join me at patreon.com/StoryPower.
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