Each week, my aim is to present a psychological and/or spiritual concept that helps me love my life, and I hope this will be helpful for the general public.
Surprised by joy
I noticed that I was in a cheerful mood this week. Perhaps I was becoming more joyful. Alleluia! Perhaps I could bring it into my life as a whole. I found an opportunity to practise this out when I smiled even though the other person wasn’t smiling. I didn’t wait for her to smile first. I was not dependent on her affect to feel good or bad. “Joy starts with me,” I thought.
With my granny
I had a colourful moment with my granny (grandmother) when I said to her: “Granny, isn’t it beautiful when you let go of your own importance? To let go of your thoughts and feelings!” “Sure this is it,” she said. I chirped up, “Because when you do, you become more alive and free. You become more spontaneous and joyful.” “Sure I’m just the same way all the time. I don’t take things too seriously.” I rejoiced, “Sure that’s why you are so well; you have all the answers.” And we laughed.
Words such as fun, creativity, spark, depth, coolness, and presence come to mind.
On the bus
I was on a bus in Dublin City this week. I pressed the button to get off. Then the driver eye-balled me through the mirror and said: “Do you want to get off here?” in a deep and pushy monotone voice. “Yes, please,” and as I exited the bus, I said “thank you”. This was somewhat surprising for me, surprising that I didn’t let someone else’s bad mood get to me; I chose to respond positively and this felt empowering. As I walked onto the street, there were temptations to respond to the bus driver’s aggressiveness with anger and frustration inside my head. But, I let that go, walked through one of Dublin’s busiest streets and enjoyed the rest of my day.
As I wrote previously, resilience is about being adaptable and flexible to what life throws at you. I went for a walk with a friend yesterday, and I expressed my opinion on a matter: “Don’t you think it would be better for Irish people to delete the words ‘bad’ and ‘good’ when talking about the weather?” “No, I don’t agree with that at all.” We went back and forth with further thoughts and feelings on the matter, a bit like a ping pong game. Then we came to a point of bearable tension where we both remained silent.
After a while, we moved onto other conversations and, similarly, we didn’t see eye to eye. When we returned to the house, I made the cups of tea and got some dark chocolate, while she did a chore. We watched a TV chat show and started gossiping. I said, “Don’t celebrities love to use self-deprecating humour, always trying to show their imperfections so their fans will feel better?” “No, they’re just being themselves.” Afterwards, I thought another celebrity self-deprecated. “You see what I mean?” “Mmmm,” she said. And I chuckled.