Making friends is tough. It takes time, trust, and a little bit of luck. Thanks to Facebook, the word ‘friend’ has taken on a new meaning. What was once reserved to describe special people in our life, is now used to describe just about everyone in our life. But, do all of these people live up to the definition of a true friend? Or, are they merely acquaintances from which we expect so much more?
I’m often amazed at people who feel they are more important than others. Those who believe that their wealth, status, or whatever circumstance they create in their mind, entitles them to special treatment or reverence that others do not receive. These people tend to treat others in a subservient manner.
When we look back at all the people who have lived before us and all that will live after, it’s easy to see that we are nothing more than a dot on the line of humanity, and that each one of us is a part of the line, no greater than another, and reliant on each other. No matter who you are or what you’ve achieved, you are a part of the line, connected to other human beings.
“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands, if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands, if you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”
Thinking about this song brings back joyous memories of dancing around my family room singing it with my children and perhaps, even having it sung to me as a child. The lyrics are simple and yet so profound – if you’re happy and you know it, show it (feel it, live it, experience it).
This past weekend I tried something that I had never done before. One of my friends invited me to a Tarot card party where an expert would offer private readings. Intrigued, I agreed to attend. During my reading, the woman said something that really struck a nerve with me; she told me that I don’t know when I’m happy.
Interestingly, this thought has been on my mind ever since I interviewed Dr. Rick Hanson, the author of Hardwiring Happiness. As a result of our discussion, I have been contemplating whether or not I truly feel happiness.
This morning I had a conversation with a colleague about the topic of loss and grief and in it we shared intimate details about traumatic experiences that we each have survived. During the discussion, she made an interesting statement. She told me that there was a time when she knew she had to leave the “waiting room”. I have never heard the phrase “waiting room” used in relationship to grief so I asked her to explain. She told me that “waiting room” describes the space between the horrific pain of an experience, and the life of possibilities that can be lived. She added that many people spend their entire lives in the waiting room.
She got me to thinking about all of the time I spent hanging out in the waiting room. Simply existing. Staying in my comfort zone longing for what will never be. Not truly living or thriving!
We live in a fast paced world, seldom taking the time to catch our breath. Add to the general stress of life, a significant event such as losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, or another difficult situation, and you have a recipe for emotional overload. Emotional overload keeps us in a continual state of stress and stress can wreak havoc on our system. While it is normal to feel sad, lonely, and/or scared at times, it’s important to pay attention to our feelings and take action when necessary.