Preparing to be happy now

Stories of personal transformation and awakenings are my absolute favorites. When people recommend books or movies, the first thing that I ask is “Does it have a happy or good ending?” If not, then it is not for me. I have, in my life read plenty of so-called “important” pieces of literature. Not that important, brilliant work cannot be uplifting but a lot of it wasn’t. I was left feeling depressed, angry, or sad. I also found that I could not get rid of the images that I had so deeply taken into myself.

When something is emotionally power-packed it affects even our cells. I didn’t know this years ago when I was trying to read important work (hoping that this would make me important myself). I heard someone say once that they were going to see a movie that had been highly acclaimed as a “dark, psychotic masterpiece” as if they were almost proud to be doing it! The images that we hold in our minds begin to outplay in our experience. If I don’t want to be eventually living it, I don’t watch or read it.

Growing up in the 60’s, to be cool, you had to have a “dark side”; be mysterious and intellectual and disgusted with the state of the world. There is a great scene in the movie, “When Harry Met Sally”,  that speaks to this mind-set perfectly. They had just met and were driving to NY together and he is trying to impress her with how educated he is, and how light-weight she is. She has just told him that she heard he had a dark side, and he is responding;

Harry:   Why don’t you have a dark side?  No you’re probably one of those cheerful people who dots their eyes with little hearts.

Sally: I have just as much of a dark side as the next person.

Harry: Oh really. When I buy a new book I always read the last page first that way in case I die before I finish I know how it ends. That my friend is a dark side.

Sally: That doesn’t mean you’re deep or anything I mean… yes, basically I’m a happy person….and I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with that.

Harry: Of course not you’re too busy being happy.  Do you ever think about death?

Sally: Yes.

Harry: Sure you do, a fleeting thought that jumps in and out of your mind.  I spend hours, I spend days…

Sally: And you think that makes you a better person.

Harry: Look, when the shit comes down I’m gonna be prepared and you’re not that’s all I’m saying.

Sally: And in the mean time you’re gonna ruin your whole life waiting for it.

I used to have checks that had happy faces on them (I change check designs a lot because it’s always fun for me to pick new themes) and I was paying for something once at a local store, run by a religious community. The man behind the counter looked at my check, in almost disgust and said “What is this supposed to mean, Be Happy, Don’t Worry?!” …like that was a bad thing!

The thoughts that I entertain today are creating my tomorrow. So risking being thought of as an “unimportant thinker”, I think I’ll choose to think about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens….just kidding, not really!

(in case you would like to hear My Favorite Things, from The Sound of Music, the link is below!)

26 thoughts on “Preparing to be happy now

  1. I completely agree! I dont need grim reality. I want happy endings! I remember one time my sister and I were watchig the sweetest movie about otters, and then they shot them! It was horrible, we threw the video away, and only watched one’s we knew. I remember reading a once favorite author who was apparently showig her dark side, she killed off all the wonderful characters from the preceeding book, Who needs that. The news is so grim, dont need it i my books, thank goodness I can read and enjoy books over. So I know what’s coming. i want ‘feel good’ I want to laugh reading it, I want to close it with a smile thinking that was great!!!!

  2. And so it is ok to be happy and light and simple. I have given myself the luxury of not evaluating everyone’s motives and just enjoying people in the moment and allowing myself to be happy. Liberating and joyful. I encounter many people in my days.

    PS Ditto x39 on yesterdays post!!!!! This is one of the most peaceful and joyful moments of my days. I have received so many great thoughts and lessons and warm feelings from this beautiful slice of heaven.

    PPS What better cause to be happy…….it’s my birthday and this attachment played on my smart phone (some don’t) = good day!

    As always, thank you, Mary.

  3. I love your positivity! Sometimes we need to hear it’s okay to feel good about ourselves and the world around us. You remind us each day to look for the good and you know the funny thing is the more you look for it the more it finds you.

  4. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your post. I am 63 yrs. old and made the decision over 10 years ago to think about happy and positive things. My artwork has always reflected this thinking because that’s what I love to express.
    I went to a “spiritual healer” recently because a friend of mine had gone and thought it was so helpful for her. We are both artists and I was looking for some minor “tweaking” of my outlook on making money as an artist. In about 5 minutes this “healer” had me delving into my past life to get rid of all of the “nasty energies” from when I was a child. After 90 minutes of this, I felt like I had been hit by a train and it took me a week to get over the depression of digging up all of the things I really feel I have made peace with. I was told I need to be more “grounded” in the real world and that manifesting by positive thought doesn’t work for someone like me, because I am so spiritually evolved but not “grounded” enough. In fact I should ask my spirit guides to help me paint the “dark emotions.” I am so happy to hear that others see the world as I do. I will continue to be the Pollyanna that I am. After all, she had a great life!

    • Man, oh man, Holly Kallie, it sounds like one visit to that lady is enough! I’m glad you shared this, – just doesn’t feel right to try and get a person to simmer in the sad soup of the past which you felt you had already made peace with. May you have a happy day!

  5. Great post, Mary. Brings to mind a great song from an album by Chris Smither (“Train Home”) called “Outside In:”

    “I know that you think worry is your ever-faithful friend,
    cuz nothin’ that you worry over ever happens in the end.
    And there might be somethin’ to it, but it sure gets in the way of fun today.”

    I want to continue to be aware of the ‘not good’ stuff that’s happening in the world, but just enough that I can determine if there’s something I can do about it. Dwell on it, though? Never again. I am choosing to attempt the counter-balance of keeping things light, joy-filled and wide open to laughter.

  6. A very precious and long time (40+ years) friend is in the final days of his life here on earth. This is wrenching and I’m writing through hazy vision. Bill is a minister and truly the most joyous person I have ever known. I can’t think about him without hearing his laugh. It wasn’t a trivializing or avoidance kind of laugh, it was just pure delight. To me he is the essence of Christianity, it’s really all about love, and he so exemplified this. In photos sent out by the family, heads are thrown back in laughter (grandchildren) when they are with him. Yes, God loves us and wants us to be happy.

  7. I love that song! And positive vibrations are catching! I choose to spread those rather than the opposite. Thanks, Mary, for walking this Light-Filled path with me/us!! And happy birthday to Susan!

  8. I am delighted to be having a birthday today also. So, Happy Birthday Susan and Happy Birthday me. Nice to be sharing it with all of you.

  9. Sally, I am sorry for your grief in the soon to be passing of your dear friend. I have a plaque on my wall that says “If you love someone enough you can still hear the laughter after they’re gone.” That is true for me. So many loved ones have left this earth and I can still hear their laughter. It comforts me.
    I agree on the positive readings! Enough pain and saddness in the world already, I don’t need to read about more. I love to read positive and happy things. Thanks for the song, one of my favorites!
    Happy birthday to all those celebrating that special day!

  10. I’m with you Mary. Real life can dark enough without having to seek it out. I used to seek out darkness in art and literature and movies, even my own stories, then I went to a dark place in real life and now, I’m all for Kittens and ice cream ( I once had a dream that I was holding a kitten and eating an ice cream cone!! oh joy) I’m also learning (thanks to you) about the idea of the fruitful darkness. Sometimes what we need to learn comes in the guise of something scary. I’m not saying there’s no bad stuff in the world, but I prefer to deal with it, if and when it happens and be happy when ever I can.

  11. Thank You, Thank You, I think there are enough horrible and sad things oing on in this world already, so why do I need to continue to feel my head with it while I am looking for some escape and pleasure reading? This is why there are certain books that come up in my 2 book clubs that I refuse to read. You have confirmed my beliefs completely!

  12. Very good point! The World at War series on early TV finished any desire I had to be exposed to death, misery, psychosis, etc. The films of holocaust victims captured from the Nazies are still burned in my head. I refuse to watch Schindler’s list or Winter’s Bone, or any such movie. When the NPR person says that certain material in their next feature may be disturbing to certain listeners – I turn the radio off. When I see any news article about abuse of animals, I skip it. I just don’t need this. I do foster dogs, visit friends in hospital, comfort my friends as best I can who have lost a loved one – but I am not about to go out and borrow unnecessary pain.

  13. To Susan L and Mary….the very happiest of birthdays to you both! May you both spend the day doing exactly what you want.

  14. Happiness is a choice and I choose to be happy! What a great song and great memories of “The Sound of Music.” I love that movie and as a kid knew all the words to the soundtrack, that and “Mary Poppins.” I still sing the songs and feel the happiness from them. Thank you for another fun walk down memory lane.

  15. What I loved about the Harry met Sally story is that she won him over in the end . . . I love the end of that movie when he joins in with her in talking about the chocolate sauce for their wedding cake being served “on the side, because on the side is very important, you know . . . .”

    It’s great to hear others’ choices in picking and choosing what goes into your mindstream . . . so many “dark images” just stick once we let them in. It’s a valid choice to edit what comes in from the outside world, because we do all have some true grief and suffering come our way if we’re living authentically; but it’s also true that we don’t need to seek it our or overdramatize it.

    I think if we stay strong and true to ourselves, we can actually have more influence to change suffering that is right in front of us, because we haven’t been drained by the bad news to where we have no presence of mind or energy. I’ve just taken in a dog who belonged to a hoarder — he has some fear issues but I see him getting better every day, and I find that in helping him, he gives me even more energy and happiness. He’s starting to be really funny and playful in the house; what a rewarding experience!

    • I love the words that you wrote, “I think if we stay strong and true to ourselves, we can actually have more influence to change suffering that is right in front of us” Thank you Annie!

  16. I love what Jill said: “I’m not about to go out and borrow unnecessary pain.” That has been my mantra this summer as I took a “news fast” and otherwise tried to immerse myself in the positive. I just came back from a 5-day stay with a relative where the tv was on all the time and watched with every meal. I have NEVER heard so much bad news. I don’t know if there was an exceptional amount on or if I have become sensitized to it be not experiencing it for 9 weeks.
    Anyway, I love this blog and I love the comments and it has been an important part of my day this summer. So thanks everyone, especially Mary!
    Cynthia

  17. I have ALWAYS — and still do — read only happy-ending stores. How wonderful to discover I’m not alone. Thank you! Jean S

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