The funny things about happiness…

Overall, I feel that happiness is a funny thing. So elusive, fleeting and difficult to find in mass, yet we have the capacity to find it in anything we do and it has the tendency not only to grow withing us, but also around us. Happiness is contagious, like laughter. On the other had so is sadness, misery (loves company, right?), anger and frustration. As one of my pillars of awareness/ quotes from The Happiness Project states  “It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light”.

I think this statement has deeper meaning than “weight”, however, and it fits perfectly within the concepts of Buddhist principles. We say that Amida Buddha is the Buddha of Infinite Light and Life. So in the statement, “light” can mean illumination. It is easy to fall into darkness, difficult to be illuminated. That’s a really profound and, for lack of a better term, heavy thought.

Some examples from my own life that bring this idea into focus for me, at least have been recent events. One personal, one professional.


I have recently had a falling out with a very dear friend. Her and I have a huge difference of opinion, to say the least and I felt as if it were time to sever the friendship because the way that she and I interact sometimes has been the cause for  a lot of sadness and hurt feelings on both sides. So, as I was gracefully trying to “break up” with her, at least for now, she came back ten times more hurtful and only made things worse. It’s easy to fall into darkness. And rather than let the situation knock the light out of my life, I chose not to engage with her. This doesn’t mean that I’m not still deeply hurt and affected by the loss of a longtime friend, but it also shed light on a few things that I was blind to see. The situation truly shed light on how she and I were friends and how we acted toward one another. I’m not absolved in any way, I am just as much to blame for the way everything went down as she is, but I’m choosing the path on the high ground right now. It would have been easy to shoot back insults, call her out on every little thing, nit pick, be malicious… but I choose the hard road of illumination. This project and the things I’ve recently read and learned have really reframed my thinking about how to engage with others, what’s constructive and what isn’t. I’d feel a thousand times worse had I let her have it with both barrels. Not to mention the situation would have only gotten bigger and bigger, rather than just smoldering.


    I currently work in a warehouse. I pull and ship orders to our clients along with a few other people. We are a very small crew because corporate hasn’t a clue what we do there. Gotta love mergers and big business. Anyway, during the holidays, it’s extremely tough. We have days off of work, however our clients still can place orders through the internet and sometimes with our call center. That means when we come back to work, it’s SLAMMED. This year has been no different. Every holiday is this way, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving… you name it. But in December, we’re saddled with the added struggle of the sales people trying to meet quotas, boost their year-end bonuses and clients trying to use up their remaining credit before the month/ year is out, as well as closing out our month and year accounting. Then, after Christmas and New Years only a week later, we are hit by the fallout from the holiday and the push to order because everyone’s credit limits are reset. A very long, difficult story short, we pulled over 1300 products and sold over $100K in one day, with a crew of 4 people. It was almost a 12 hour day. We were getting orders of over 100 products, per client. But throughout the day, most of the time we were all smiling and laughing, even though it was so stressful and busy. If we didn’t laugh and joke, it would have made the day a million times more miserable. We were all tired and hungry and sore and overwhelmed, but we each chose (even the old crabby guy) to be lighthearted and joyful. The bigger the orders, the more we laughed about it. We’d make silly comments about the type of products or the weight of the boxes, but all in all, we each took it in stride. We couldn’t change the situation, we just simply changed how we looked at and reacted to it. This is why I love my job.



~ by wendemachete on January 6, 2012.

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