You may have found some peace, finally. But you are sure it won’t last. As a result, you put your happiness on hold because you are sure that peace will be shattered so why get all cuddled up with it when you know it won’t last?
The truth is, you can’t enjoy it if you are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. And why do that? Happiness is not this forever eutopia, a field full of daisies that you skip through with a basket of muffins and money. It’s not a forever home because all emotions are temporary. Stuff happens and life is about grabbing moments of happiness and laughter and enjoying them, later becoming moments of reflection.
Whenever I do guided imagery and it suggests going back to somewhere I remember that was a time of great happiness and I do have a library from which to choose. Usually, I go back to a trip to Vienna in the nineties. My husband and I were on his business trip. He had to work during the day and I toured alone at that time. At night, we got together with some of the conference attendees from all over the world. And the final night was a dinner celebration at a castle in Vienna with royalty (I hadn’t known there was royalty in Vienna.) We ended up at the best table. And not the table with royalty but just a perfect match of people.
Our table had so much laughter, everyone in the room turned to us at some point wishing they had a seat there. People dropped by all night hanging around the edges to soak up whatever magic was happening which was delightful. We laughed so hard. The food was so amazing. I’d never seen any presentation like that before. And the atmosphere was so luxurious I couldn’t believe I was there.
Whenever things have gotten difficult, I’ll take myself back to that night and I feel the festive joy all over again.
What I’m saying is take a trip to the past if it’s to relive a wonderful moment. But don’t get stuck where it wasn’t fun. And don’t project some slimy, unfun future because it’s not like being alert for it prepares you any better. You might tell yourself it does. But every time there is a crisis, it has that same cold-water-in-the-face effect.
Those of us who’ve been through it have developed a harder exoskeleten anyway meaning we bounce back faster. So really, why worry about stuff that hasn’t even happened? It’s pointless. None of what will happen is within your control. And perhaps just meeting people where they are is much easier on your nerve endings which have most likely had a robust workout over the years anyway.
So sit back and enjoy good fortune or a moment of peace. If the past or the future starts rattling at the gate of your bliss, tell it to knock off. Acknowledge it, put it on a conveyer belt and bring your mind back to the present. Or go o the past if your present is too jarring and remember a joyful moment. Here’s a nice mindfulness activity to help you do that.
It’s ten minutes. Yeah, you got ten minutes for guided imagery. And if you don’t have ten, take three and take the mindful three minute mindful break below.