Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Come On, Get Happy
I keep trying to blog about happiness, and I keep failing. I don't know why; all I know is I've eaten a starbucks birthday cake pop every night for the last four nights, and I know they say eating food doesn't make you happy but they are lying and listen, I have no intention of laying on my death bed and saying, "I should have eaten more birthday cake pops".
Cake pops aside, here's the deal: I have a weird neuroses when it comes to happiness. It took me a long time to pinpoint it. I knew something froze up in me at the prospect of having to show happiness but it wasn't until I envisioned myself walking in to a beautiful home that Mr. V and I had fantasy-bought--a cute little bungalow--and in the vision I walked through the front room with the exposed brick whatevers on the sides and the built-in bookcases, and I felt a brief, wild flare of happiness. And then I squashed it. And I fantasy turned to Mr. V and gave him a wan smile and effectively killed both our fantasy joy.
Which would be fine if I only did this in fantasies, but I tend to do it in real life.
Having this vision forced me to look at why I behave this way--I always freeze up, on Christmas and on birthdays, and you should know that I might not be able to stop, yet. I curb my enthusiasm. And I realized I do it because I have this almost sub-conscious fear that being happy is going to create some kind of debt. That if I show too much pleasure, someone's going to come along with their hand held out, expecting something in return. I don't know what. Mr. V might see me enjoying myself watching "Supernatural" and make a comment about the dishes. (This has never, ever happened. It's just what I fear.) Like the universe is going to say, Oh there you are Vesuvius, looking all happy. Well. It's time to make good on that.
I don't know why I have this fear and it doesn't matter. Just acknowledging this tendency has helped. Now I can remind myself that it's not true and that it's ok to show happiness sometimes, just not on Good Friday, or when it turns out you were right and your husband has been driving in the wrong direction this. Entire. Time.
So that is where the cake pops come in. If I want to be able to someday freely express joy at the big things, I have to start small. My spiritual discipline is this: Drive to the Starbucks where they don't know you. Buy a cake pop. Again. Take it home and sing to it. Caress it. Eat it slowly. Smile.
Smile with every part of you.