Moments of Happiness!
Hello everyone and thank you to all of you who have been so kind recently. I have been writing about some really tough stuff and so many of you have reached out with kind words. It warms my heart every time I get a text, email or message from someone. Whether it’s a story about your struggles or encouragement to keep writing, I really love it. So if you are ever inclined to reach out, please do, it really makes my day and I will respond to all of them, I promise.
I have been focusing on some really hard things recently and today I want to talk a little about the other side of life. As I said before, I was diagnosed as bipolar and so while there are dark, dark times in my life there are also wonderful bright times too. Even in the worst of times, I was able to find joy sometimes and I think it’s that joy that kept me from plunging off the edge and doing something terrible. It’s like my father used to say when we would play golf (which I was terrible at). We would be playing a round and I would be stinking it up horribly, hitting terrible shots, missing putts and getting frustrated, then amazingly I would hit a perfect shot. It would feel just right and fly straighter than anything else all day. My dad would see the joy in my face and say “That’s all it takes, one good shot gives you a reason to stay at it. It’s proof that you can do it, it's why we come back out” Now I never did stick with golf but I think that statement is exactly what we need to focus on when we are struggling.
While I was fighting to recover from all of my bad decisions and fix my marriage I would spend day after day in the pit of despair (yep, Princess Bride reference again) and then one day I would wake up with a different feeling. Things wouldn’t be so gloomy and I would feel just a little better. Then something would happen. Either I would have a ride that evening or some time with my kids and I would forget completely about all of the nasty, dark crap in my life and I would be just in THAT moment! Smiling, laughing, not a care in the world! It would be glorious. Inevitably, something else would change and my reality would come crashing back down on me and I would be right back in the fight again. I would wonder why I was here, why I had done so many horrible things, why I had wasted so much money.
The list went on and on but in the back of my mind I had that wonderful moment or moments and they would keep me going. They were the proof that I could do this thing called life. They were the reason to stay at it, not give up and to keep swinging. I was going to keep missing shots but every now and then I was going to hit it right down the middle. And if I stayed with it I was going to hit more and greater shots. The key was to keep swinging and figuring out what it took to make great shots and avoid the misses.
I think that practicing being grateful every day is part of how we focus on the great shots and wonderful moments and remind ourselves why we are fighting and why we are staying in the game. It is an amazing way to help you see all the good in your life even when its caving in around you. It also helps you to define what things make you happy and give you hope. Then you can repeat those things over and over as often as possible. For me, one of those things is dirt biking. When I ride everything gets better. The weight of my world disappears and I have joy, even if it's for a short time. That is why I say that motorbikes saved my life.
My challenge to you is to first, find three things you are grateful for today. Even if they are tiny and seemingly insignificant. I know you can find three. Then think about the thing you do that makes you happy no matter what. Maybe it’s gardening (Ruth’s favorite thing to do) or dirt biking or reading, whatever. Then I want you to write them down on a piece of paper (I know, paper is crazy) and put it where you can see it every day. And if you are interested then type them up in an email and send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment them below. I want to know what inspires you, what makes you joyful. And sharing those things will help you to realize how wonderful life can be. Even if your life is pretty stinking wonderful, there are always down turns and dips and this practice can make your life that much better.
Ok for me I am grateful for summer time, God’s unconditional love, and my family. The thing that makes me happy no matter what is DIRTBIKES!!
It’s your turn, GO