On the advice of a friend, I have been doing a daily affirmation, telling myself I am happy, but it doesn’t work for me because I’m not sure I want to be happy. Un-unhappy, yes. Unsad, yes. Contented, of course. At peace, for sure. But happy? It’s not a state I’ve ever aspired to. I’ve always believed other things are much more important, things such as love, truth, purpose, freedom, kindness, integrity. Happiness means many different things to many people, but to me, happiness has an element of giddiness, of being glad to be alive, of effervescence, maybe. I prefer being centered, not tipping toward happiness or sadness, but unafraid of my tomorrows, satisfied with my yesterdays, at peace with my todays.
To that end, I have changed my daily affirmation to “This is a good day and I am feeling fine.” This affirmation was gift from my yoga instructor, a short meditation to help us get through the holidays. She suggested we sit quietly, breathe in thinking “This is a good day,” and exhale thinking “I am feeling fine.” And it works for me. Of course, it helps that my days now are good, no real traumas, no sock-to-the stomach bouts of grief, just a slow gentle roll into sadness now and again, and a slow gentle roll back to center. The few tears, when they come, seem more nostalgic than debilitating.
The past couple of days have been especially good — lovely weather, clear skies, warm sun, breezes no stronger than a breath. And I am feeling fine. No overwhelming aches and pains, no worry or stress to weigh down my shoulders. I’m standing tall, breathing deep, opening myself up the world and the future.
I’m still not sure where I am going, what I am looking for, what I expect to find. For now, it’s enough that I am continuing to open myself to possibilities, continuing to believe that today is a good day and I am feeling fine.
Pat Bertram is the author of the conspiracy novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+