November 14, 2012

How to be Happy Even When You Don't Feel Like Trying and are Quite Alright Being Miserable, Thank You Very Much.

Feeling like a heaping bag of shit? Exhausted to the point where you're too tired to sleep? Feel like moving to Baffin Island and creating a rewarding social community with the polar bears?

You're not alone.

In my new blog post, "How to be Happy Even When You Don't Feel Like Trying and are Quite Alright Being Miserable, Thank You Very Much", I'll outline ways in which you can make your seemingly shitty existence seem, well, at least... less shitty.

Rule Number One: Find pleasure in small things.

Small things are universal. Everyone has those small things that make their lives a little easier. Maybe it's keeping your pens in a perfectly neat row on your desk, maybe it's ensuring your neon purple socks are clean to wear for that appointment you're dreading. Maybe finding the nearest stone and kicking it as hard as you possibly can to find any modicum of stress relief. Whatever works! Enjoying small things leads to small happiness successes. And we all know you need to build on small successes before you can have bigger ones.

Rule Number Two: Say FUCK when you need to.

Fuck is a great word. It can be a noun, verb, adverb and adjective, sometimes all in the same sentence.

As in: "Fuck the fucking fuckers." "Who fucking gives a flying fuck?" "I know fuck's a bad word, but you're fucking making me say it."

All fucking kidding aside, the point I'm trying to make here is sometimes to be happy, you have to freak the fuck out. You need nothing but unadulterated, unedited, shameless, noisy, and un-cute catharsis in its most raw and uncensored form. People may think you're nuts, and you probably temporarily could be considered as such. Short term pain leads to long term gain here: if you don't become insane in the moment, you will assuredly be driven insane in the long term by keeping things bottled up. But lemme tell ya, one potty mouthed compatriot to another: it's fucking worth it.

Rule Number Three: GODDAMNIT, I SAID NO

There's a lot of people that have demands on your attention and time, am I wrong? What these people may or may not understand is that their right to your energy is actually a privilege. It's hard to shift paradigms when someone may have been used to calling on you when they needed... whatever it is they needed. But things can change. Maybe you need some time to take care of some of your own stuff? Whatever that "stuff" may be, you need to assert your right to take care of yourself absolutely. People may not like it, but there it is. If they don't get it, refer to Rule Number Two and tell 'em where to go.

The other thing that falls under this category is conforming to others' ideals. No. Just, no. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. To thine own self be true, etc. "You" might seem ugly at the moment, but gawshdarnit, you're the only you you've got. The only you the entire world has, actually. And that's pretty special.

Rule Number Four: There's always a silver lining.

Also known as: it could always be worse. I'm a firm believer in that God/Goddess Source/Universe/Flying Spaghetti Monster will only give you as much as you can handle. Even when you feel like going postal and sacrificing the blood of the innocent, remember this. It's important. Despite the fact that your dog ran away, your truck is broke, and your woman left you for the strong (and much handsomer) arms of another, at least you're alive to be shit upon in the first place, am I right? I know this thought pisses you off, but I'm right. Deal with it.

Rule Number Five: Don't Apologize

If you could have known better, you would have done better, right? Never in this life are we ever prepared for the challenges that will face us. We only live on average 70 or so years. How is that ever going to be enough time for you to prepare yourself to appropriately and effectively deal with every possible situation ever? Do the best you can. That's it. And never apologize for falling short of someone's expectations. Guilt and shame are very dirty words... even dirtier than "fuck".

Rule Number Six: Let it go.

There's lots of books on this. All the important spiritual writers speak of the importance of not allowing yourself to get caught up in the illusion of control. We control nothing. The best we can do is try to control our reactions to things that happen, and even that is really bloody difficult. Do the best you can do, and let go of the results of your actions. The cards will fall where they will. Holding on to the fruits of those actions will only cause you pain when they don't meet your expectations.

For example, I was in a really miserable mood before I started writing this blog post. I thought it might cheer me up to get some of these thoughts on (virtual) paper. Nope. I'm still miserable. So I can either make myself more miserable by focusing on my lack-of-happy or I can just be how I need to (apparently) be at this very moment. It'll pass, and a lot faster if I let go of my attachments.

So try to live a clean life, but not so clean you can't say "FUCK" when you need to. Don't apologize for needing to say "FUCK" in the first place. Find the simple pleasure of cursing your ass off enjoyable when you need to, because behind every angry moment of cathartic rage, lies the silver lining of shedding said rage in the first place. When people try to tell you their needs are more important than yours, feel free to politely tell them that your new priority is YOU. That's not selfish or narcissistic. It's self preservation. You can't give of you if there's no you to give in the first place. Maybe in 100 years we'll have ourselves all figured out, but I doubt it. So we do the best we can, no?

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