Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Signorina, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I was driving yesterday and I realized how much I miss BEING happy. I used to live a happy life. My dad died in January of 2008 and since then my family has been reeling from one big unrelated crisis to the next; we haven't caught a break. Honestly, I've had happy moments since then but those tears burn in the back of my eyes all the time. Only a thought away from rolling down the cheeks. All day yesterday, I contemplated making a whiny post about wanting to feel happy again, but I didn't post it because I knew I would reek of self pity and whininess...and I want you gals to like me... LOL

    ANYWAY (yes I ramble in real life too) I was reading LHJ trying to fall asleep and I was struck by this quote in an article (My Life as a Mom, October 11, 2011) It was an "AHA moment" and i thought you all might like it too...

    "The happiness we seek ... cannot be found through getting serious and uptight about wanting things to go in the direction that we think will bring happiness. The point is that the happiness we seek is already here and it will be found through relaxation and letting go rather than through struggle."(attributed to Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron)

    I may just write it in lipstick on my mirror...
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Signorina, for that! And it is very true except that (just to dampen your happiness further :) ) it is a work in constant progress, a constant effort to let go and open to the way things are... But why not try it! What's the alternative... ?
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    LOVE it and how could we NOT like you??? :)
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Love it! Immediately shared with DD1 because this is a huge part of her struggles. (might have been a little over her head, but gotta try every which way I can)
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Thanks PG :)

    Malika - my issue is that being open to the way things are and letting go seems to suggest finding/making peace with my beloved child rejecting us and engaging in risky behaviors that constantly jeopardize his well being. I am just not there. I can't fathom ever making peace with that. I am only hoping that A) he'll come to his senses and come back to us or B) that I find an acceptable "work around" in lieu of a solution. But I am still at the beginning stages...he's been gone for 4 weeks...and I am not quite sure how to accomplish "B"
    Lasted edited by : Sep 27, 2011
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes... I know... that's why I say it's a constant work... letting go just means allowing ourselves to be at peace no matter what is happening on the outside. And, as you very rightly say, that just ain't easy... If it was easy... we'd all be blissed out and enlightened! Being peaceful also means accepting the worry, anxiety, grief, etc, not trying to make it go away. This, again, is very hard because all our conditioning and all our own reflexes are geared up to making us want to block out what is painful.
    What can I say? You happened upon the quote. This is what it involves :)
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    The Buddhist quote was something I was thinking about the other day.(Actually EXACTLY what I was thinking about)
    I believe that we must stop trying to run away from all our discomfort and learn some ways of tolerating the discomfort. Understand that it is normal to not be "ok" with what our difficult children are doing. To sort of "ride it through" and as best as possible and as quickly as possible...let it pass.
    In the mean time, make sure there are plenty of other GOOD things going on with our lives. To always nurture good relationships and productive, healthy opportunities in other areas.
    This doesn't mean that we give up hope...but it does mean that our emphasis is no longer there. (detachment)
    So....we'll have moments where we have pauses (hopefully brief) of discomfort....but don't dwell on them and don't try to cover them up with alcohol, etc. either. Don't drown in the sorrow, etc. Don't even fret about being in pain. Just understand that this is an uncomfortable experience. Then quickly move to other, healthy options.
    Although our burdens might be great and frequent, it doesn't particularly matter.
    I actually think this is a very good way of approaching life...period. Give up the struggle...I promise you will find
    happiness. aaf 9/29/11
    Lasted edited by : Sep 29, 2011
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well said, Nomad. One thing I do know is that to succeed in living out such a vision, one needs the inspiration and support of others who see things that way too... Because it's kind of swimming against the tide. Even though dealing with difficult things is obviously such a fundamental and necessary skill to have, few people ever teach us how to do it, it seems!
    This morning I was talking to a lady in my village whose husband has just lost half his hand (and all the fingers) in a terrible machinery accident. He is, of course, full of anger and self-blame at the moment. In the long term, though, his happiness will depend on the degree to which he can accept what has happened and adapt to it... Easy for me to say! I really struggle with accepting some bad things that have happened to me, and even though I see that continuing to feel angry and rejecting of them, continuing to suffer because of them, is keeping me from what I do have in the present moment, still my mind twists and revolves around in it all... It is SO hard to accept things sometimes!
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Very true.

    I've been living in a constant state of crisis for so long now..........that if I didn't actively seek out and search for those moments of happiness and savor ever second of them, I'd be sitting in a rubber room.

    Those moments can be as simple as one of the dogs resting their head on my lap, or having 6 grandchildren begging you to go to grandparent's day at school.......and trying to figure out how on earth you're going to manage it. It can be finding a lovely purple flower growing among dense weeds and taking the time to stand there and enjoy it for a few minutes. (I still would like to know what type of flower it was)

    As you can see..........I've gone for searching for very small and simple, sometimes brief, moments of happiness. There are many more of them than people would guess. The trick is to teach yourself to recognize them, then let yourself have the time to enjoy them.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I agree. It is swimming against the tide, we need the support of others and that we need to make the choice to actively seek out help AND to actively notice the good and positives all around us.

    Was also thinking that when our children are younger, all of this is a little more confusing and unclear.
    We are steeped in all of this because young children certainly do need the help of their parents or guardians.

    But, after 18 and certainly after 21....this changes. It is up to them to use what we have provided for them and to move forward in life. If they have disabilities, we can provide some limited help if they are appropriate and appreciative. And we can also lead them to social services.

    But, our job is done. And now, there is no doubt in my mind, it is time for us to relax and let go of THEIR struggles and it is not only acceptable, but totally appropriate and RIGHT to seek our own happiness.