"The trick is in what one emphasizes, we either make ourselves miserable, or me make ourselves happy and strong, the amount of work is the same."-Carlos Castaneda
Let me be the first to say, I'm not a gun toting positivity pusher by any stretch of the imagination. I have days where I'd be more likely to punch a stranger in the face than smile at him. And I cry. Oh, do I ever cry. The thing about me is that I like to feel sad once in awhile. I like to wallow, listen to sad song lyrics and watch movies I know will make me go searching for the nearest cliff. Pity parties, in my own company, with my door closed, can do wonders for my soul. For starters, I write better when I'm sad. I don't know why, but I've found when I'm floating on cloud 9 with happiness I can't write worth a damn, but when I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum my fingers dance across the keyboard at ninety miles an hour. It's a tradeoff. It's probably why a large majority of writers have mental illnesses. So, yeah. I am a moody, emotional, sometimes bitter person. In case you weren't aware.
But that quote up there, it's my favorite, and not without good reason. That quote contains a message with which I think the world should live and die. It really does take the same amount of effort to make oneself miserabe as it does to make oneself happy. This is the same reason I've become so good at forgiveness, and not hating Conservatives, because hate, and grudge-holding, they just take so much effort. I find it's so much easier, and more rewarding, to try like hell to find the good in the person or the situtation and move on.
I don't claim to have the secret to life or anything. On a bad day, if you tried to read my very words back to me, it's likely that I would become hostile and hurl an inanimate object at you (no, really, it is). But on days when I'm neither way, way up or way, way down, I realize that, 9 times out of 10, when it comes to the small stuff, whether you sweat it or not is all about the perspective you take. This philosophy has helped me grow so much both spiritually and psychologically. It's probably helped decrease the levels of stress hormones sounding all through my bloodstream. Ya know, as an added bonus.
That makes me think of another quote, the one about how happiness isn't a destination, and how true this is. I spent a long time thinking that if I just did things this way or that way, then, one day, I would finally be happy. Like happiness was this island where I'd sail my boat, and then spend the rest of my days drinking Cosmopolitans with the natives. Maybe someday the natives and I will share a Cosmo or two, but it won't be because I've finally reached the island called happiness. It will be because I've gone on a cruise with my girlfriends and we've crashed our boat into an island where the world's last uncivilized population resides, and they'll threaten us with arrow-headed spears, and instead of freaking out and assuming imminent death, I will offer one of them a pink Cosmo, and they will fall in love with the wonder of alcohol, and we will dance around a fire and hope it brings rain.
Like I said, it really is all about perspective.