Spring Has Sprung
First the clocks spring ahead, then there’s the first day of spring. Everyone around here gets all excited when there’s one of those great sunny and warm spring days and then it snows again. But this isn’t about the weather; it’s about groaning and moaning when the weather disappoints. It’s about hoping for something different and maybe missing what you already have. And it’s about accepting what is and making the best of it.
Everywhere I hear: “I am so over this” – and while of course people are referring to the weather when they say this, I suppose they could have lots of other things in mind also. I’m so over my job – how often have you heard that – and in this economy doesn’t that seem a bit selfish? I’m so over my family – sure there are squabbles but hey, they’re family (and what’s that they say: blood is thicker than water). I’m so over my car - what’s the difference, wheels are wheels? I’m so over my kids – take 2 seconds to think back when you were a kid and how your parents said the same thing.
Stop and reflect on what you do have – health, a roof over your head, food in your stomach, a good pair of shoes – in reality, they’re all pretty good. It’s certainly more than many others have. Those pictures from Japan certainly puts things in perspective – I’ll bet those people would trade what happened to their lives in the blink of an eye for bad weather. The plight of homeless people should give pause – they’d probably trade the streets they sleep on for bad weather. People in ambulances speeding to an unknown destiny – they’d trade their misfortune for bad weather. A flat tire – would you really trade the car for having to walk (in bad weather)?
Truth is, whatever we have, it’s never all good or bad and there will always be something we think is better (hence that old fable about the grass being greener on the other side of the road). But these are natural thoughts that creep into our minds in the quiet times between responsibility and obligations. It’s okay to want but I suspect it’s not okay to allow your ego to push want beyond good sense. In reality, all the things we have are good enough, especially if we look at them honestly, use them wisely, share them judiciously, take care of them responsibly and cherish them humbly. And if you look at all you have with clear and unselfish eyes, you probably can’t help but be satisfied with and even proud of, what makes up your world. If not – look around, and then think again.
My message this week is about pride – in yourself, in what you have and in what you’ve accomplished.
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves and it is not possible to find it elsewhere. -Agnes Repplier
Agnes Repplier (1855 –1950) was an American essayist born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her essays are esteemed for their scholarship and wit.
How can you be proud of who you are and what you do if you’re not happy? Not unhappy – that would mean you were the opposite of happy but rather not happy – meaning you just couldn’t find happiness. Everyone wants to me happy - it’s important for your sense of well-being and self worth – but that’s easier said than done. First, you have to like yourself and that means being comfortable with who and what you are. Second, you have to love the things you do and the reasons you do them – that means you approach them all with enthusiasm, commitment and energy. And third, you have to exude a pride in all of what you are and do – that means you’re complete in your heart and body and mind and soul. It’s critically important that you find all of this happiness in yourself because what you find elsewhere is not as important. So stop looking around and start looking inward – and realize and rejoice in all that you are.