This is Judy's last full week off, so she charged me with finding things that were fun to do on days she didn't attend physical therapy. That would be a day like today. You might think a movie, or a nice ride and a picnic. Judy decided that she and her older sister would go to the cemetery today instead. Some days, it's tough being a trophy husband. On the other hand, it gave me a few hours to be alone and enjoy myself.
Being alone is not being lonely. I got to trade the markets a little, listen to my music with my earphones, and re-listen when I felt like it. I even got some time on the Internet, which has been going down every evening, and dropping a lot during the day. What I mostly did was to think about friends who are having some problems.
A confluence of things have occurred. Mel has been writing a lot about people holding themself back, keeping themself from happiness. This has spurred memories of things I learned in school. People live on two levels, the intellectual and emotional levels. Connected to this was a discovery that people could know something, but suddenly have an epiphany when they actually understood what they had known or had learned. This has happened to me a few times. Once, when I realized that a professor had actually designed his seminar course to be an job enrichment program for the students and just had never told us, the realization left me speechless at lunch with a colleague for several hours. I just kept shaking my head, laughing and saying, "I don't believe I missed it and it was right in front of me."
We all live in an environment that is so full of stimuli that no one can perceive everything that's there. So we all selectively perceive what's there, through our own individual filters. We can take the stimuli there and derive happiness and joy from them, make lists of things that make us happy; or we can take different stimuli from the same environment and decide we are useless, worthless people, and find all kinds of justification from the past to support the contention. Another way to look at this is some people are choosing to be happy, and some aren't. Are we influenced in that decision by our emotional unconscious? You bet. Can we do something about that? You bet.
Look yourself in the mirror and start finding reasons why you like yourself, and tell yourself out loud those reasons. Daily. Be redundant. It's called positive affirmations. I like myself because I do kind things. I like myself because I saved a bee from Jake today (true). I like myself because I tell my wife I love her every day, and mean it. People like hearing this too it seems.
There's lots more. Here's what doesn't work. Hiding. Problems don't go away. Pretending there's nothing wrong. Same as hiding. If you need help, go get some. Really. But you need to work But it is so worth it. Imagine being happier. Here's what Mel wrote today:
"No matter what results you get, the only real failure is when you stop making the effort.
When you are mistaken, you can learn.
When you are knocked down, you can get back up.
When you find that you've veered off track, you can correct your direction.
When you discover that circumstances have changed, you can make adjustments.
What a shame it would be to stop just one effort short."
Now, I'm not Mel, I'm not going to start wearing heels and pantyhose, and I don't have a British accent, which I am sure are messy character flaws. I'm not a therapist, and I am not much different than the next person. But I laugh a lot. If you are one of my friends who are suffering from a lack of confidence, or know you are awesome at an intellectual level but not an emotional level, or think that you lead a boring life because you're so boring, or you can't be loved because the people who loved you left you; I'm here to say that I love you, and you don't have to change for me, nor lose weight for me, you're perfectly valid for me the way you are. Please validate yourself, because other people are wrong. There's no time like the present to start because life's a banquet and we don't want to starve. Come join me at the banquet table, please.