Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happiness is....

Brief history of myself, don't want to make too much of it, but it'll be evident and crop up time to time, reflective of my writing. I have had depression since I can remember, literally, since I can remember. I have memories of not even being in school yet, and wanting to burst out crying, just like that. I have always been searching for a way/ways to enjoy my life. It is a struggle. Prescriptions have never worked, nor exercise, nor material things, attempts at talk therapy. Now, the good news, I have had much much luck with what I've learned at the website TheHappinessProject. Immense luck.  I'm hopeful...

I have been led to the most amazing blogsite. I've been following it for a month now, and I have made more cognitive progress here than I've made in years of appointments with talk therapists. The Happines Project is a book/website that I had heard about.  I finally decided to find out more about it, rather than just skimming magazine articles on it. This book was on the NYT's bestseller list,

Yes, The Happiness Project. That one. And it's not what you'd expect it to be. Not cheesey, or hokey. There is so much information on there, you'll be able to find at least one thing that speaks to you. Gretchen, the author, has been blogging in her search for happiness, what it is, ways to find it. She has one minute videos that are astounding in their content. Her side-bars contain "tips of the day", actions that are easy enough to instantly implement into your day, that make a world of difference. She has motivating quotes. What I enjoy the most are her daily blog entries, and her book reviews, where she reports back on all things happiness.

The inspiring thing for me is that I have come to believe what she says, that it takes conscious effort to be happy. One can't merely wish for it, or blame others for not having it: it is something we work for, and dig around, to help us find. Just searching for it will lighten our load, since it will change our thinking and mindset. Gretchen has columns of quotes, columns of action tips, all different ways to change your life. My plan of attack against the depression that has taken too many years away from my life, is to select a daily quote from Gretchen's site that motivates me, along with an action tip, that I will implement that day.

The pearl I walked away with today, after visiting her blog, the one that speaks volumes of truth to me is a quote from Saint Therese of Lisieux, "...for the love of my God, and the love of my brothers and sisters, I take care to appear happy and especially to be so." Amen. Even though my depression is beginning again to feel insurmountable, I'll work hard to "come through" for my family. Just because I'm down, doesn't mean the whole house has to feel down. Like I told you, it's hard work.

The action tip that I'm going to implement in my life today is, based on her daily tip today, is  "hug more, kiss more, touch more." I feel my teenage son needs more physical evidence of my caring for him, so I will plan on snatching a quick hug in before he leaves for school, while we're still in the house. He's grown too tall and too embarrassed to allow me to hug him when I drop him off in the mornings. I'll plan for it at home.

As Gretchen sums it up, "It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light",  this change in automatic thinking  will take work, but anything worth your while does. I'll let you know how I'm doing.


  1. Oh I like this too! I love how you are actually applying what you are learning and giving us examples of that. One of my favorite quotes from Joyce Meyer is "even when I am in pain, I don't have to be a pain." Please give us more little snipets of wisdom you find. Thank you for sharing!

  2. You know, you are the 4th person that has told me about this. When something crops up in my life multiple times, I consider it a msg from God. Definitely going to check this site out. Esp. now coming from you. As I think you are a very wise and beautiful soul. And what you wrote made sense. It does take work to be happy. It is easy to get sucked into daily frustrations, worries, drama, etc. It takes effort to stay nonplussed and particularly happy. Thank you for this gentle reminder and for your wonderfully honest thoughts. I'm sorry that you struggle with depression. It is very hard. Lots of people in my family struggle with this as well as anxiety, so I understand very well what you are describing. My love and prayers for your daily happiness.

  3. DearOMwCW: you are so very kind. Thank you. I think people write to help others, don't you? Why else write, if not to have someone hear you? Thank you again for your kind words. I"ve enjoyed getting to know you.



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