Are We Hung Up On Happiness?

October 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

Angie Rubin

I really like the below post from the Huffington Post.  It lays out my exact thoughts on happiness and well-being.  Happiness is a fleeting emotion just like anger, sadness, etc.  We get happy when something pleasant happens to us; a party, a new dress, a great concert.  But the feeling we are after should be of well-being.  When we find contentment the feeling is a way of being and it is a constant.  It is who we become.  When we have found a state of well-being, we are able to appreciate who we are and what we have.  And we are content. No fireworks, just a deep feeling of gratitude and knowledge.   Read on.

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by Dan Gottlieb, PH.D.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence gives us the right to pursue happiness. That’s all well and good, but are we finding that the pursuit of happiness can make us miserable?

In today’s culture more people are pursuing happiness and not succeeding, leaving them frustrated and living with a sense of failure. Making matters worse, the pursuit of happiness can make us self-absorbed, which is guaranteed to make us unhappy!…Continued

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A Widow On Valentine

February 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I’m a widow.  I never thought I would say these words.  I never thought I would say them in my 40s.  Widows are supposed to be old women contemplating the end of their lives.

I’ve recently watched a few films about soldiers returning home and it dawned on me that our lives are molded by that which happens to us.  Soldiers after seeing extreme violence, injustice, fear and deplorable conditions find solace in each other not because they speak the same language or come from the same town or even share the same believes.  They find solace because they went through the same psychological wounds. They all know what happened without any need for an explanation.  They understand each other in a visceral way.

I remember years ago when by a set of mismanagement of information and conduct by others, I ended up spending time with a woman, at the time in her 30s, who was dying because her organs and skin had lost the ability to stretch.  I used to tell her to look for others who were in the same situation as she was because they would understand her and she would find community with them.  I could talk to her and have compassion but I couldn’t really understand in an emotional way what she was going through specially because then I hadn’t gone through the depths of suffering and loss I would eventually go through.

I’m a widow.

I used to think widows and widowers were sad people who spend the rest of their lives pining for the person gone.

I am now a widow and sometimes I’m very sad; a special kind of sadness; profound, simple and quiet.  But I also have a great desire to live life and to make it meaningful.

I have a friend who has had a leg and a hip amputated because of cancer.  I truly don’t know what it is to live the kind of life she does, but unlike how it was with my other friend, I now have an understanding of pain and hers doesn’t scare me anymore.  I can offer her and receive from her more than I could many years ago.

I met someone on a hiking trail who had just faced death and will spend the rest of her life fighting it off.  I listened to her, she listened to me and neither of us were victims, we were just strong women sharing our lot with each other.

When my husband passed away I wanted so much to find something positive in all we had gone through and all that I had lost but I kept saying to friends and family that I was still the same person I had been before Chris had gotten sick.  But eventually I would realize that I was wrong.  It is impossible to go through something devastating and remain the same.  In my case I believe I have developed a new level of compassion and have in a way turned my loss into something of worth; I write about it and hope it resonates with others and inspires them to have the courage to be truthful, and to realize peace comes from knowing oneself.

So this Sunday when many lovers will send gifts and share kisses I will embrace the person that I am, the person life has shaped and I will promise her to be by her side and to love and understand her till the very end.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Julie

July 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I received the below from Julie, a woman I know whose interview is featured on this site’s interview page.

I decided to post her submission on my blog because what she’s writing about is so pertinent to what I’ve been posting, that I wanted to make sure you all got a chance to read it.

To me Julie is an inspiration. She is the woman she describes on her interview and below; positive and always willing to help.

“I am a cancer survivor.  I lost some parts along the way, but I am still here.  I had many wonderful people who had faced adversities of their own mentor me through my grief.  I knew one day, if I could muster the strength and courage, I would give back by mentoring other cancer patients and amputees.

Today I met with a young woman named Wendy from Pasadena. She is a mother of three children ages 3, 5 and 7. She was diagnosed with Osteo-Sarcoma a year ago and had to undergo chemo and have her leg amputated below the knee to save her life.  She recently learned the cancer metastasized to her lungs and skull. After hearing the traumas she has already had to endure at the tender age of 28, it made me reflect on my own progress in grieving the loss of my right leg, hip and pelvis.

I realized…

After my first year I decided to deny it happened, after my second year I decided to be angry, after my third year I decided to let it destroy me, after my fourth year I decided to cry and recover, after my fifth year I decided to live again, after my sixth year I decided to be angry about trying to live again, after my seventh year I decided to live in gratitude and make something positive out of all my life experiences, after my eighth year I decided to stop thinking about myself so much and try to help others in need.

I can’t wait to see what I decide to have happen in my ninth year!!!

Obviously I am over-simplifying a very complex, interwoven grieving process, but I thought I’d just put in a nutshell for today.

I always learn so much from others. Thank you Wendy! You are an inspiration…whether you like it or not!  (-; ”

Julie

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