Most of us are really great at being miserable and noticing it. Our backs ache, our feet hurt, someone was cross with us and put us in a bad mood—there are many, many levels of knowing you’re not very pleased with life. What most of us are not good at is noticing—and rejoicing at—those moments when all is well.
Little kids in Sunday school often sing, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” They all clap their hands and sing with unbounded enthusiasm. Isn’t it great that their genuine happiness can be expressed so freely?
Years ago there was a period of time when I was miserable. It was not a long period of time and I no longer know what I thought was so terrible in my life; but I remember sitting in my rocking chair rocking my little boy and being depressed. Then for some reason I found myself analyzing how I felt and comparing it to how I felt a few days before. I have never forgotten the illumination that dawned on me. I realized I had gone through a relatively long period when I was basically happy and content but I hadn’t even thought about that wonderful state and I hadn’t really even enjoyed it. I vowed if I ever felt happy again I would make the most of it. A couple of days later the tides of time did return me to happiness and I did remember to realize it.
I was young back then and now I’m old but I still make a fool out of myself enjoying my happy days. I smile, I chatter, I hum, sing and whistle and most of all, I’m happy and I know it.
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