Choosing Happiness Over History

Photo by: Andre Furtado from Pexels

Over the course of any given day, we make a number of decisions regarding how we will invest our time and energy. Every day is filled with a new mix of people and situations that vie for our attention and require us re-evaluate and reshuffle our priorities. However, there may be one or two items that are absolutely non-negotiable and always make the daily cut. For me, that would be my morning routine upon awakening. I always start my day by mentally listing the things that I am grateful for in the moment. This is followed by centering and grounding myself, meditating, seeking guidance and setting my intentions for the day.

Have you ever paused to examine what the motivations are behind your choices and actions, especially the recurring ones? Are you expressing a passion, seeking external validation, acting out of a moral duty or obligation, manipulating a situation, or perhaps just saving face? Regardless of the reason, if you continue to do something, it is usually because you are gaining some kind of benefit from it.

This past week, the topic of balance regarding giving and receiving came up for me. It got me thinking a bit deeper on the topic. When we give to others or direct our focus and effort toward them in a beneficial way, are we aware of the true intent behind our actions? Are we coming from a good place and is it for the right reason? Is our intention pure and without expectation of receiving anything in return? Is our offering in alignment with our authentic self?

There is a birthday coming up for someone who holds a special place in my heart, although not the same as before. If our continuing friendship is a garden, I would say that he is an occasional gardener at best. I have grown to understand that this is simply how he is hardwired and that it is not personal. He invests a minimal amount of time and energy in tending to our garden and keeping it going. I, on the other hand, have focused too much time and attention in caring for it, in the hope that its former splendour would return.

Last year, he forgot my birthday and remembered almost three months later. No apologies or regret, just an excuse that it was a weird year. Fair enough. However, the standard of “better late than never” that he applied, really cut me to the core. It was a turning point in truly recognizing my value in his life.

In the past, I would have overlooked this and still wished him on his birthday, out of a misplaced sense of obligation. Actions (or the lack thereof), really do speak louder than words because they show you how a person truly feels. If a friendship is mutually valued, the effort will be equal and there will be a balance in giving and receiving. As I resigned myself to make my actions more congruent with my truth, a certain amount of sadness surfaced. It felt as if a stage had been set so that I could pay my last respects, to any misguided expectations I once held.

Whenever there is something weighing upon me, rather than just stewing or wallowing in it, I have learned to ask for help. I know that there is no need for me to struggle on my own. I can surrender the situation and reach out to Divine Intelligence for support and assistance. The lyrics from a famous Beatles’ song “there will be an answer, let it be”, come to mind.

There was indeed an answer. Lately, YouTube seems to be my source for receiving what I need. Without a working television at the moment, it makes sense that answers would reach me through a platform where I spend a fair amount of time. I was watching an interview in which someone who had experienced a broken engagement, had been asked whether it was difficult. The response referenced a quote often attributed to Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

As soon as I heard this, I experienced a visceral perspective shift. A sense of peace descended over me, as I was gifted a key of grace. That quote enabled me to unlock and liberate the remaining vestiges of sadness within me, that were clamouring for release. As if to place an exclamation point on the matter, Cheryl Crow’s song “If It Makes You Happy”, hit my radar earlier today.

Although the state of our friendship made me unhappy over the past three years, I could not detach from my hopeful expectations that it would improve. Whether I realized it or not, I chose history over happiness and stagnation over growth. It is time for me to face forward rather than looking to the past. I need to focus on sowing new seeds of happiness. I choose to value my happiness more and to cultivate those areas of my life that will enable me to bloom and grow.

“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.”

~ Mario Quintana

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