My husband and I were in the car on the way to his family’s early Christmas gathering and he had his iPod on. I was thinking about my blog and what it sort of meant to me and a Phish song came on that I had never heard before. (I was a Vermont hippie in high school and college and loved Phish, but haven’t listened to them in a while). The lyrics were “I want you to be happy, cuz this is your song too” (over and over, Phish style). I looked at the iPod and the song was called Joy on the album Joy.
That got met thinking that that is what my blog is really about. That is what I really, really want more than anything in the world. I want you to be happy. I want you and everyone else to be happy. That is what Keemseek is about. I want you to be able to let go of your anxieties, your insecurities, your fears, your depression, your obsession with what others think, of what society thinks, of what you feel your life “should” be, rather than what you want your life to be.
That’s all. Anything I write or talk about in this blog is about that. It’s not to “win” an argument or prove a point. It’s not to try to look smart, or outrageous, or to get attention. It’s not about me at all. I could give two sh!ts if you know me or who I am. What I do care about is that these words are reaching someone. Anyone. And helping them start making choices in their life that will make them happier.
Because I am happy. I can honestly tell you that I believe I am one of the happiest people I know. I am happy because I no longer feel jealous of other people—either for their looks, their money, their jobs, or their lives. I almost never compare myself to others anymore. I don’t really worry about what others think of me. I no longer fear confrontation. I no longer fear looking “dumb.” I no longer wonder if what I’m doing is “appropriate.” I have begun to make myself into the person I always wanted to be. And I feel that the path I’ve taken to happiness is available to anyone.
Not that it was easy. I have had to face myself several times, head on, and figure out what the fuck I was doing. I’ve been through depression, horrible social anxiety, a phase doing a lot of partying, disassociative issues (feeling like I’m not a part of real life), obsessive thoughts, and just general feelings of worthlessness or fakeness. A lot of mental shit. It’s exhausting.
But I went and got the help I needed, both with a therapist and a pharmacist. I was in therapy for maybe 4 months. I take a low (10 mg) dose of the antidepressant Lexapro daily. I like me some booze and some green. They help me relax and think about life.
And I slowly, over the last few years, started to choose to change my life. And, in retrospect, I’ve done it by making decisions based on three questions:
- Is this action going to bring me closer to my goals in life?
- Is this action going to hurt anyone?
- Does what I am about to do come from a place of love?
That’s it. That’s the secret to my happiness. Sounds easy, but as I’m sure you recognize, the path to all good things must be paved with conflicts.
1. Is this action going to bring me closer to my goals in life?
The problem most people have with making decisions that are going to make their life happier and closer to their goals is fear. Fear mostly of some kind of confrontation. How many of you are afraid to confront your boss about that issue you’ve been having? Or your husband or your wife or your coworker? How many of you are afraid of what will happen if you do that? Ask for what you deserve, tell someone what you need, put your two cents in? What would people think? What if you look weird, or stupid, or uncool? What if someone gets mad and yells? What if you have to be uncomfortable for a little bit?
But what if you got everything you’ve always wanted?
Now, number 1 can be found in many self-help books. I believe “The Secret” is sort of about this. But what isn’t in self-help books, but is in Eastern philosophy and many religious faiths, are the next two questions:
2. Is this action going to hurt anyone?
The other problem most people have with getting to be happy is that we often don’t think of how our actions affect others. And when we make a decision to do something that ends up hurting someone else, that pain and hurt will come back to us in some form. Some call this karma, some call it retribution. I personally didn’t start to fully understand that concept until a few months ago. When we do things to better our lives, but we hurt others in the process (implicitly or explicitly), we must see that that will not ultimately make us happy. When you put out bad energy, feelings, loss, hurt, there is no way you can maintain your happiness in that now-corrupted system. You cannot have more happiness at the expense of others’ happiness. It doesn’t work like that.
(Now I know it’s not possible in our current mode of society to always make decisions that don’t hurt anyone. We are bombarded daily with advertisements of the “best” products to buy and we don’t have the time to research what companies are practicing decent standards (which is very few but getting to be more I’ve noticed!). We have the things we’ve always used, ate, worn, and we’ve been brought up in a social system that tells us its NORMAL to not give a shit about the child slaves that sewed your sweater. (Amazing lecture here by Peter Joseph of the Zeitgeist Movement called “When Normality Becomes Distortion.“) So we all think we’re being normal when we buy shit or do things that directly contribute to a system that in fact is functioning perfectly on all cylinders when 1 billion people in the world starve and the wealth is concentrated in the hands of a very few. But we need to wake up to the fact that is is NOT normal and in 100 years I hope people look back with disgust at our current modus operandi.)
3. Does what I am about to do come from a place of love?
As for making decisions based on love, the only way to really do this is to continually keep the idea of love in your heart and your head. Project it, feel it, resonate with it. Even if you look at the stupid driver that almost cut you off and want to take him out, breathe and remember he’s just a random person who might be having a bad day and realize the loving thing to do is to let it go. When you sit in a conversation with your friend and you’re trying to decide what to say to her story, realize it’s not about you, it’s about her, because she’s talking to you about her problem. When you can keep that in your head is when you will do all things from love and be the best friend, wife, husband, parent, sister, brother you can be. You won’t be perfect, but you will be always trying to be the best you can be, which is all that can be asked of any of us.
Now, after considering these three questions, make your decision. If it’s a good one, great! But if it turns out you made a bad decision for whatever reason, apologize, figure out what you did wrong, and don’t make the same mistake again.
I am where I’ve always wanted to be in my life. I love my job (graphic design) and I’ve worked to get into the exact situation I wanted (working for a small design firm that specializes in design for good causes); I have an absolutely amazing husband that I find myself lucky every day to have married, even on the days I want to kill him; I have effing awesome friends, some that I’ve had since since grammar school; I have a really great, loving, respectful, adult relationship with my parents; I have paid off most of my debt; I have made enough art (and sold some too!) that I finally feel comfortable calling myself an artist; I have begun volunteering; I am happy.
And now I’m writing this blog and trying to disseminate information on a new social system that could save our planet if everyone would give it a long enough look. Remember that feeling when you were a kid of wanting to do something big? Something really, really big?
I realize I have a huge luxury of time to be writing these posts and musing on these subjects (ie. I have no children yet). I realize now that I’ve chosen that for the moment because I was meant to write this blog and share these ideas. This blog is m’damn baby! So if you agree with me on these issues or think what I’m writing has any merit, please pass my baby on. This kind of world is only possible if you pass the ideas on.
Remember – every choice you make in your life is an opportunity to shape your life so you (and everyone else) can be happy. It’s up to you how many decisions you can afford this time and thought.
Peace and love!