|Rainy day walk on the Osgoode Trail. November 2015.|
It was only later when I read this post on the blog The Likes of Me ... about naming negative emotions, sort of fessing up, by examining and giving a name to those feelings that can be destructive, or perhaps even just unworthy of us... that it dawned on me what had happened in the car on Sunday. I was jealous. Of our friends, people we like and admire. And I felt childish and selfish, and like Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice... "heartily ashamed of myself."
|Raindrops keep falling on my head?|
The post I read goes on to discuss Alex Korb's book Upward Spiral. Korb uses neuroscience to explain how one can, with small life changes, "reverse the course of depression" from a "downward spiral to an upward spiral." Korb offers evidence-based analysis of depression and its causes as well as helpful advice, at least according to the reviews I read. But it was the idea of naming negative emotions that struck a cord with me. That and the fact that besides getting enough sleep, exercising, and practicing mindfulness, Korb suggests "clarifying your values" as a positive step in triggering what he calls the "upward spiral."
|Autumn invasion on the Rideau River, spectacular and deafening.|
I don't claim to suffer from depression. And I really have no cause to complain about my lot in life. None. I am perfectly aware that I have been fortunate in life. But that doesn't stop those niggling feelings of discontent some days. Of yearning. Of feeling a teensy bit hard done by. So maybe the secret is to drag those unworthy thoughts, those negative feelings of wanting what I don't have into the daylight, and take a good hard look at them. Call them out, so to speak. And then review what I really do want out of life. And remember what's important to me... what Korb would call "clarifying my values."
And if I do all this, I know I will realize that I'm pretty much where I want to be. And I should be grateful for that.
I am grateful for that.
|Early morning on the Rideau, steam rising from the open water.|
|Pink and blue late afternoon dusk.|
So happiness is.... what exactly? Is it the "perfect retirement," the perfect life... whatever that may be? I guess not. I guess I don't really know what it is... except that I know it when I feel it. And truth be told, despite the odd envious or discontented moment, I feel it a lot. And I'm grateful for that.
What about you dear readers? Even feel unaccountably overcome by the green-eyed monster? What makes you feel grateful? Or happy?