Happy is Sometimes the Enemy

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

Many years back, I was standing next to a woman at the train station. It was a chilly, rainy day, and I was waiting for the daily commuter into NYC from New Jersey. This woman was doing what a lot of mothers call the pee-pee dance. We exchanged a quick smile. A minute went by, and now I felt like I was going to wet my pants! I finally declared, "I know! "It's a pain not having a bathroom nearby! And the rain makes it more miserable to wait!"

I thought I was empathetic. This woman looked at me strangely and said, "Good thing, I don't have to go!" Hmmm, she didn't have to 'go' after all. In awkward style and stuttering chatter, I said, "Uh, oh, ha, ha-huh. I thought I was witnessing you doing the pee-pee dance!" A small pause, and to my relief, the woman laughed. It turns out she was a mom, so she knew what I thought I saw. "No, I'm antsy because I haven't had my morning cigarette and coffee. I'm not happy until I do!"

That feeling from a cigarette we know is the enemy. Many people get what they call the 'happy hit' from inhaling toxic smoke into their lungs. And we also know that feeling is an enemy disguised as momentary relief and satisfaction from stress. Over time, no matter how good it makes us feel in the moment, it can lead to significant damage to our physical and mental health. I'm not picking on smokers. I believe most of us are inhaling some toxic energy we may not be aware of, which is the point here.

Think about it. If we're living in Miss Antsy Pants energy waiting for the next puff of calm from somewhere or someone else, are we fooling ourselves? Are we even aware we might be doing the pee-pee dance? 'Happy' maybe, is the enemy in this case. I mean, have we gotten 'hooked' on momentary feelings, or can we do better to create satisfaction and stress-reduction over the long-term that doesn't harm us? I've found that we can! And this is where life gets magical!

This memory of a small moment on a train platform came to me a few months ago. I thought, "People can be like cigarettes." I can relate to the feeling of antsy until I got a puff of approval, for example. I'm grateful to have moved beyond that dependence. Thankfully, the pee-pee dance is something I've retired!

To my point, I was in a very toxic relationship once that fooled me into believing I was happy. In reality, I became dependent on the momentary hits of being told, "I love you so much! You're the best thing that's ever happened to me! You're such a magnificent woman! How did I ever get so lucky?" Ah, the old lucky charm, I was. Once that 'puff of approval' was ingested, I had to face a harsh reality that what I was being 'told' wasn't real. It didn't help that there was a strong physical attraction to this man. Worse, I depended on this man's approval of me even though I knew that energy was toxic. The problem is, what we know and how we feel can sometimes get tangled into a very dysfunctional ball of misery.

To untangle, I need to come to these personal truths about myself:

1) I was sadly not in love with myself and depended on another person to fill that void.

2) I needed to re-learn the difference between being told and being shown love.

3) I hadn't yet learned how to be brave enough to walk away and create self-fulfillment. The ability to exercise self-fulfillment was the key to entering into a healthy and loving relationship later.

Here's where my story might be of service to you. A seemingly insignificant moment on a train platform created more profound respect and perspective on what it means to feel or chase 'happy.' I finally came to know what it means to love yourself and why it's so important. Moments do inform us, and we can pay more attention to their possible meaning. One way to grow in life is to play and ask questions. As you stand in mundane fashion waiting on your next taxi or Dr. visit, one question you might ask is, "What hits do I see myself taking a puff of that I need to do away with?" Once you've got your answer and you feel stuck in taking the next step to break that habit, we're here to help. Until then, learn about self-love. You can begin today to live in happy land without sacrificing your health in the process. You can learn to make happy your friend instead of your enemy!

Give yourself the gift of self-love! Take a peek into our window of possibilities to become more self-inspired and fulfilled!

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