Actually, I don't mind saying or hearing that friendly, well-wishing greeting at all. In fact, I say it a lot, like when I answer the phone or shopping at the store, buying a coffee, on blogs. And I mean it. For everyone (myself included) I wish for good times ahead, a year where love, peace, joy, good health, and happy times flow amply. Positive thinking is a good thing and greetings like this are likely to contribute to more happiness in the world through psychology's concept of self-fulfilling prophecy or the ripple effect.
So when I wrote: I've been slightly bothered by the phrase "Happy new year," I didn't mean bothered as in irritated or annoyed, rather more in the sense of perplexed. Saying and hearing it so often at this time of year makes me think about happiness in general and the pursuit of it.
This seems to be a good opportunity to look at my own need to be happy and what I do to get there. Ten things I did in pursuit of happiness in the past (and with a few exceptions in the present as well):
- Eat sweets, especially chocolate.
- Shop for shoes or clothes.
- Call a friend.
- Buy art supplies.
- Write morning pages.
- Cook a special, fancy dinner; maybe invite friends.
- Go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner with my husband or a friend.
- Call my parents or sibling.
- Bake cookies, cake, sweet bread, etc.
- Play card games on my computer.
what's under my behaviours
loneliness, boredom, grief, despair
and what's under my avoidance
maybe a sense of entitlement
a sense that I deserve to be happy
and what's under my sense of entitlement
maybe it's ego, a strength of will
shall I look at
avoidance, entitlement and control
from a different perspective
shall I say instead
a whole me
notices what is
and accepts lack of control
what if I let myself feel despair
stop trying to push it away
invite it into my heart
allow it to be a part of me
and despair is just one
shame, anger, loneliness, sadness and fear
are her sisters
I push them all away
maybe in small part
because of some intrinsic belief
that I need always to be happy
maybe if I don't run
happy will be all the brighter
when it's with me