Today Is a Good Day and I Am Feeling Fine

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+

4 Responses to “Today Is a Good Day and I Am Feeling Fine”

  1. mlfhuntMary Says:

    I think we live in a society that wants everyone to be happy all the time and that is part of the root of why we do not deal with loss and grief and sadness very well at all. Happiness, in my opinion, is so etching we experience a moment here, a day there. I do not think it can be an ever present experience. Peaceful, content…yes…but sadness is part of life, of the human condition….so I do not aim for happiness as an ever present feeling. I aim for peace and meaning and content. Joy and happiness, like sadness come and go.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Our society seems to penalize those who are not relentlessly happy, as if grief and sadness are a mental aberation or illness. As you say, that is why we do not deal with grief well, or at least why we hide it. We seem to think it’s something to be ashamed of, as if we’re doing something wrong by admitting that life isn’t always great. As agonizing as those first couple of years of grief were, I wouln’t trade them for a lifetime of happiness. They helped me find places deep inside I never knew were there, helped me experience a taste of eternity, and changed me in ways I still have not comprehended. Sure it was painful, and I would give anything for him not to have died, but since he did, I’m glad I embraced my grief rather than pretend everything was fine.

  2. leesis Says:

    I think these points are really important. Human experience evolves around ‘feelings’. The trend to crush the uncomfortable feelings and to expect only ‘good’ feelings has led to an abundance of legal and illegal drug taking and enormous unneccesary psychological suffering. My mantra tends to be simply ‘I am’. Sometimes the I am is joyful, sometimes its miserable, but it is always interesting, always evolving and always always precious.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I like “I am.” For a while I was doing, “I am being me. I am where I am supposed to be.” I still do sometimes — I need to keep reminding myself that no matter what I do, I am doing what no one else in the world can do — be me.


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