It has been approx 4 days since I last blogged about my intention to live in laughter, I have since dubbed this my "Happy Therapy". I would like to share with you my observations from the last few days but before I go there, I should explain some other things also.
after my "laughter in the rain blog" I blogged about loneliness. It was, in my humble opinion a pretty good blog. "Why don't you see it?" you may ask, well, someone left a "not nice" comment on it and I let it bother me and wound up deleting it, which I am now very sorry I did, however, it still had some valid points. I did a lot of research on the causes of loneliness, not just the "companionship" type of loneliness, the kind of loneliness that you feel when you re in a room full of people and you feel like you are invisible. What I found out was that people who feel "invisible" type loneliness have feelings of low self esteem, self hatred, feelings of worthlessness. In short, they just don't feel good about themselves.
Well, I have often felt that deep deep type of loneliness. I could be in a room full of friends and family and still feel like no one wanted to talk to me or get to know me. I would often sit in a corner and NEVER NEVER even think to approach anyone for conversation. So I really started to examine if I was lonely because I felt such negative things about myself that I didn't let anyone close to me, or if people just sucked and no one wanted to be my friend. What I realized was that I really had to change the way I felt about MYSELF before I could expect others to treat me differently.
Aside from initiating my "happy therapy" I also decided that I would "fake it till I made it".
I forced myself, when walking, to not look down at the ground. I work in a big box dept store... and I often found myself looking away or down as I passed people making sure not to look them in the eye. This way they wouldn't have to say hello to me if they didn't want to and I wouldn't feel slighted if they didn't. So, as I said, I forced myself to look up and in fact, look into peoples eyes as I greeted THEM.
My happy therapy is my conscious decision to "be happy". I paste a smile on my face and go to work, even though I detest my job. I laugh with co workers, I tell customers silly stories, I ignore my manager when she makes me feel like I am 2" tall. When negative feelings invade my psych, I basically have a conversation with myself about all of my good attributes... if I can't think of any, I make them up...just kidding.. I made a list of those that I could think of and asked my family to give me 3 positive things that they believed of me.
OK, so where has this gotten me? It has been a few days and I feel I am beginning to absorb my "choices" (make no mistake, these are conscious choices) to the point that it is almost automatic to look people in the eye and to keep up the "happiness" levels. After a few days, I feel pretty good. I have more confidence, self esteem and a positive outlook on life. Not only that but people are really beginning to have a reaction to ME. People I have worked side by side for the last few months but have never spoken to me before are suddenly seeking me out. They are sharing their "lives' with me and asking me to share mine. In the lunch room, I have always sat by myself, but the other day, this guy (a very cute guy I might add [don't anyone tell my husband]) got up from where he was sitting and joined ME. Talk about a shock, that has never, ever, ever happened to me before.
Was it because I lost weight? No, because I haven't lost any weight ( I will get back to that later). Was it because he needed a favor from me? No, he didn't ask anything of me except if I would mind if he sat with me. Was it because I was suddenly more gorgeous then the day before? I don't think so, in fact, I was having a bad hair day.
The fact is that I have walked through my life with negative feelings about myself. Feelings that I allowed to fester in my heart and take over my life. The only difference lately is that I have acted as if I liked myself. I have acted as if I was a worthwhile person with a worthwhile point of view. I have allowed myself to be real and to be funny and to be confident and the only thing that has happened is that people are responding to THAT.
I wondered why this was. But as I think about it, it just seems so obvious, all of our lives suck in some way and none of us wants to be around someone just as or even more gloomy then ourselves. We all want to feel the sun on our face so of course we would be more apt to drift towards someone with a sunnier disposition.
So, what does this mean for me? First of all, this does NOT mean I "hide" my feelings. I am not repressing them, I am just choosing to focus my energy into a more positive direction. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I am going to move towards a solution. It means that instead of bringing people down, I can bring them "up". I have been making it a point to make sure when someone is around me, they leave with a smile on their face.
Please believe me, I do not expect this to "fix" all of my problems. However, it stands to reason, if I am more positive in my life, if I surround myself with positive influences, if I focus on my positive attributes and the good things in my life, I won't have time to worry about "my shit". Again, some of us have serious mental issues that can really only be dealt with by visiting a trained therapist and medication. I am not suggesting that anyone stop their "traditional" course of treatment to try my "happy therapy" but it couldn't hurt to try it along with it.