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SELF-HELP CAN’T BUY YOU HAPPINESS
Looking for the happy life? Seeking “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Land? Stop reading. Happiness is something that comes and goes and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Land will not be found here. Sorry.
Are you reading this newsletter because you want to stop being bossed around by mad, sad, or bad feelings? Read on. Sharing knowledge about taming the feelings trying to control you is my Mission.
Life is a struggle filled with flowers you cannot always stop to smell as well as relationships that tear you down and sap your will to care. Suffering visits, but for most of us, happiness also visits.
I know about suffering, not because I have suffered more than most, but because I have suffered enough, but not too much. Suffer too much and little remains for easing the pain of others. Don’t suffer and empathy is weakened.
Speaking of empathy, I cry at television ads, so I am what used to be called a co-dependent or compulsive care-taker. So what? I prefer to think I sometimes overdo the Golden Rule.
LET ME INDULGE – A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME
Helping others helps me. Why else would I have become a temporary mother to nearly 400 foster children during a 14 year vacation from life as a therapist? Well, not really a vacation, but a learning experience filled with hurt, sorrow, laughter and joy. Then why would I resume my career as a therapist by working on the meaner streets of life with those suffering there, when I could have earned far more listening as a talk therapist to the worried well?
What a crazy life, and maybe a crazy me—but it has been a satisfying one. Anyone in a position to help another strengthens their emotional fitness—that is a key lesson I learned in my life.
Other lessons involved coming to understand and refine what works best to ease other peoples’ suffering. Notice I said ease, not erase.
My life lessons took me beyond much of what I learned while training to be a therapist, but what I learned becoming a therapist made surviving and thriving more possible. Then along came Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Fitness Training® Programs were born.
Finally, you need to know, I am now what Merlin the Wizard and his peers would call a crone—a wise old one or what I think of as a WOO. I am 76 and sliding with as much grace as I can muster, downhill. That means I do need to stay strong and practice all the emotional fitness skills I preach about.
Now, onto today’s lesson in emotional fitness …
EMOTIONAL FITNESS FACT
I don’t know your suffering. No one does. Stop looking for perfect understanding; it won’t happen.
You alone can count the hurt and pain life visits upon you. You might be bowled over by a life event that others grow from. Not every cerebral palsy victim becomes Josh Blue.
Who is Josh Blue? A comedian who won the TV reality show “Last Comic Standing” by mocking his spastic self. Great guy, but set an impossible standard that most cannot meet.
TODAY’S EMOTIONAL FITNESS TIP
Reality check your expectations. Turn off the constant preaching of the media and happiness gurus. While they might be well intentioned, they are promoting a false value, that constant happiness is possible and that like Josh Blue, all adversity can be overcome.
Remember the old saying about “Wants versus needs”? Apply it a bit to your life and weed out a few of the wants. This then lowers your expectations, making it easier to meet your outlook of what is success and happiness.
REMEMBER WHAT MATTERS
“Enough is a feast.”
An Irish Proverb