first blog post about putting your feelings / thoughts / delusions onto the page, perhaps the findings of Ariel Gore, author of Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness will convince you. Gore, curious about what helped women feel happy, asked a dozen to keep a happiness journal. What she discovered, according to the March 2010 issue of Body + Soul magazine, was that "the simple act of recording...moments actually expanded them." In other words, writing down something that makes you happy – your infant's smile as you enter his room in the morning, your dog's wagging tail, the sunshine streaming in a window, discovering that the infidelity diet has rendered you skinny beyond your wildest dreams – actually expands the happiness created.
I remember perfectly the day, a month or two post D-Day and when I was still in the "will I ever feel happy again" phase, I was walking my dogs. I was trying hard to not let my mind go into that dark neighborhood where I obsessed about the OW, details of the affair, myriad ways of killing my husband or myself or both, etc. etc. It had snowed the night before and the lawns were blanketed in white. The sun shone brilliantly. I focused on my dogs. The sunshine. The twinkling snow. And, for a few fleeting moments, I felt happy. At peace. Then my dastardly brain yanked me back into the darkness of my thoughts.
BUT! Later that day, I wrote about that moment. Which expanded it and let me turn it over and over again in my mind. And I was assured – because my journal said do – that happiness was possible. Perhaps even likely.
What Gore notes is that, by noticing, appreciating and documenting those moments, we are more likely to intentionally seek them out. And, it follows logically, the more we seek out those moments that give us happiness, the happier we'll become. Maybe not today. But...soon.
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