I was reading one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer Pastiloff, this morning. She talked about parallel lives and how so many of us get caught in that place of regret: “ If I had only (fill in the blank), what would be different now?”
She met a man on her journeys who said, “Don’t let them steal your happy.”
As I marinate on the many parallel lives I could have lived - pursuing a theatre career, marrying someone else, not marrying at all, staying in college, going somewhere else for school, and so on ad infinitum - not one of them leads even remotely to where I am now. At least I don’t think so. In spite of the losses and tragedy I’ve experienced, I would not change a thing.
How is that possible? Because I am more alive than I have ever been before. In the midst of things and people trying to “steal your happy,” staying alive and happy takes grit, determination, emotional muscle, and a determination to remain in the present moment.
Grit and determination come from that warrior mentality of sheer will to keep moving.
Emotional muscle and the ability to remain in the present come from having the courage to examine your fears, confront them at their source and then, ultimately, to accept them as gifts. Turning a fear into a gift neutralizes its perceived negative impact, and allows us to knit ourselves back together as a whole person. Then we are beautiful, with uniqueness that make us interesting and talents that make us passionate and productive. Accepting a fear as a gift is like making a friend out of someone you falsely judged at first glance. The lesson learned is amazing and the connection is sacred.
So, who is trying to steal your happy?