Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Sadness”

If It Makes You Happy

“If it makes you happy, then why are you so sad?”  Great words from a great song that my family loved. It is just an easy question that can sometimes have the most difficult answer.

Girl with Colorful Hair 1

But really what is it that makes you happy? Is it goodness, something that you can cherish and embrace and love because you are you?

Then why the hell are you so sad (as the song goes)? Life is so very short and then it is over and we can look forward to the eternity ahead. But in the mean time we all need to get more inspired. There is so little time, and while we are here on Earth we have to make our tracks.

We have to embrace those things that are positive, make the best of them and be sure we are “right” with our world first. Before we are right with the rest of the world and all it offers, before we try to search for the meaning of life for others, we need to understand our meaning.

It is “purpose”- and those that defer purpose, or decline it all together are missing so much. I mean do they look at it like “first you live, then you die and make the most of everything in-between”? Or do you look at it as the more you embrace the purpose of life, the more happy you will be?

“If it makes you happy”  doesn’t mean  to do whatever you want and damn the circumstances. It means what really makes you happy when you understand the purpose of what you are doing here. Understand your part in the process of life, and it is a grand scheme… but a good one.

So advice to my kids: make sure you enjoy it, but be sure you understand your purpose. And look for it- when it arrives be sure to embrace it- and you will be happy.

Here ya go kids. What we used to sing in the car as loud as we could. If it Makes You Happy!

Controlling Happiness

It would seem we are always in the pursuit of it. 

The sign at the front door of my home

The sign at the front door of my home

Yet,It often seems so elusive, and still I have come to realize that each of us are in control of it. Happiness wisps away like a soap-bubble in the wind. Flying from here to there and hitting people. For some of my friends I think they believe it lands on them – like luck or good fortune.  Being happy is definitely a blessing. It is desirable. Not always attainable.

In the pursuit… people seem to do unnatural things don’t they? I mean they will do everything to avoid the inevitable fact that there will be sadness in their lives. Ignoring it, dismissing it as not allowed wont change that.   Other people seem to think they can buy happiness, Add more things in their lives and it will be a happier one. Add more things, which will attract more people (who may seem to be your friends).  they want to insulate themselves from ever being unhappy by filling their lives with time-filling stuff and people. We know how that turns out. Yet we would struggle to not accept the idea that we could try to see if that would work.

So if it is not money, and it is not avoiding sadness. If indeed it is not elusive at all, then what brings you happiness?

For me? Being confident that the people I love are there for me, and I am there for them. Being sure that I know where my spiritual center is. Understanding that I have the control over my happiness and other emotions. Not that I am going to be happy all the time. We are all human, subject to feelings of melancholy and remorse, anger and sadness, frustration and loneliness. You cannot always choose happiness, bad/sad things happen. Personally as someone fighting cancer I think it is how you deal with it that counts.

But we have the ability to grasp the positive things in our lives. Those things that will make the yin to the yang. Trusting in God. Living a life that is not centered on negative things. Making the best of the situations as they come. Understanding that not everything is going to be “just fine” all the time. It will take the effort.

You have heard the term “control your anger”.  Perhaps we can also “control our happiness”?

Happiness Runs- Donovan

“Mad” or “Sad”?

20120527-201954.jpgI was in a grocery store over the weekend and I heard a lady exclaim to her husband how “really mad” she was about the fact that a cracker company had discontinued her preferred sized box.

I had to laugh a bit because I couldn’t think of a situation such as that where it would make me be “really” mad. I always thought that “mad” was reserved for horrific things that happened to people or circumstances that became unable to control or ultimately did not turn out the way we expected. Even then there is a fine line I think between mad and sad (or disappointed I suppose).

It seems like more and more people are “mad” at things that really stretch the idea of or being angry.  There is room for anger in our lives; applied to those things that may some how stimulate us to a better life, to be more conscientious or be stronger for someone or some cause.

It seems the “madness” I see stems from something else. Perhaps the frustration of the moment or the feeling of helplessness. More than ever before, there seem to be a lot of people who are more angry over things that they cannot change. That is likely because in this “information age” of constant incoming data we are increasingly more exposed to things we can get mad at.

Maybe that is the idea of what someone means when they refer to the past as “simpler times”?  Maybe because of ignorance (which I have heard is bliss) or maybe though intentional avoidance, some people just didn’t have to deal with being angry in those simpler times.  As time has changed, and war, poverty, hate, disease and the like have come 24/7 into our lives, maybe we have become an angrier society?

Whatever the path, seems like something to be sad about. Perhaps mad; but likely sad…because the ability to turn off that 24/7  input has passed many people by. Unless we ourselves make a choice.

Be mad if you need to, but remember to be sad when you can. Either way  you have to find a place where you can move on…. make a difference, change what’s happening, or focus on something else that you can effect. Getting “stuck” in mad is maddening enough.

Being Rich with the Grace of Living

CoinsThe rich get richer. Least I always saw it that way most of my life.

I guess if you stop to consider the definition of rich, there is a way you could change that meaning. After all the richness of life has nothing to do with the money and items we possess. It is about much much more than that. Sure it can sound like the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” or something where you can accumulate your friends and family around you and greatly appreciate that they are there for you.

That is a richness of life that many wish they could have, and in these times when tragedies of life seem to be more part of our daily lives, I think it gives us pause to reflect on what is really important.

When the Boston Marathon explosions occurred, people were reaching out to people to do what ever they could. Mobile phones and social websites lit up with people wanting to know that their friends and family were safe. They provided condolences and well wished sentiment of prayers to all effected.  It has happened again and again in the face of adversity ( like the Connecticut school massacre, the recent fertilizer plan explosion in Texas and so many before that). It snaps everyone to attention about how delicate life is- how precious and quick it can change forever.

But deeper than that we all looked around at our loved ones – closest to us and asked the important questions. How we measure the value of our lives is important, and the richness of it is not accumulated by the things around us, but the people around us and the people we connect with each day – even for the slight moments we pass by people on the street or at work.  It would seem that it is the richness of this grace in living that we need to embrace to help us all make sense of the changing world surrounding us all.  Least that’s the way I see it.

Getting Stuck and UnStuck

Horse StuckI am not sure sometimes how I get into particular situations. There are just those times when “poof” I am there. You ever have that feeling of extreme distress? You can’t believe how you got there. It’s likely that you were thinking of something else, maybe head in the clouds.

There are plenty of times where when you are feeling stuck, it seems insurmountable  Panic may ensue, or that feeling that you are never going to get out of the situation you are in. Things get blue or bleak or bad (funny how many words can describe it).

Some of my friends will surround themselves with others who are feeling the same way, so they can feel better that they are not alone in their sinking feeling. Other friends of mine will disappear off the face of the earth it seems for long periods of time. Seems like plenty of people think they have the remedy to help them get out of those feelings of being stuck in the situation they’re in.

But getting un-stuck is a challenge that has to be faced eventually. For most of us there is a time when you just have to admit that there is a way out– a solution. You have to make a decision. It’s funny sometimes that someone can “wallow’ at the bottom of a situation for so long.

We can all break-free of things if we put our minds to it. We have the ability to change things, but there are times that we just don’t. We draw out the inevitable and then later – after we finally look back – we ask ourselves “what took so long?”  There has to be someway to recognize that getting un-stuck is a choice we can all make if we want without wallowing in it. Without just standing still and wondering why things don’t change.

Advice to my kids when they feel stuck: Take action and make things change.  Sometimes I have to hear my own advice. Then God will provide.

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